Sen. Mitt Romney demanded “urgent” measures in response to the coronavirus crisis in a plan outlining additional steps including a proposal to pay every American adult $1,000.
The Utah Republican delivered his ideas as an addition to urging the Senate to take up the House-passed coronavirus package, joining others who supported a proposal published in the Wall Street Journal by Harvard professor Jason Furman.
Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers during the 2008 financial crisis, called on the federal government to implement a rescue package that would include a one-time payment to every American adult of $1,000 and another $500 for every child.
“The House coronavirus response package contains critical measures to help families in Utah and across the nation in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, and the Senate should act swiftly on this legislation,” Romney said in a statement.
“We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services. I will be pushing these measures as Senate discussions continue about an additional relief package,” he added.
Thrilled to see @MittRomney proposing $1,000 checks. This would a critical floor of social insurance for hundreds of millions of Americans and would help the economy rebound more quickly when we are past the virus lockdown phase. https://t.co/Im14PzsYpf
— Jason Furman (@jasonfurman) March 16, 2020
“Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy,” Romney’s office stated in a press release. “Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options.”
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown soon echoed the plan idea.
The pressure on family budgets is only going to get worse as we deal with coronavirus.
Congress should pass a bill sending every middle class and low-income adult an initial check for at least $1,000 ASAP. We can’t leave the hardest-hit Americans behind.
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) March 16, 2020
Romney’s proposals come as the nation faced more aggressive measures across U.S. cities attempting to stem the worsening of the coronavirus outbreak and following the passage of a second coronavirus package by the House on Saturday. A multi-billion dollar response package was passed by Congress and signed earlier this month by Congress.
Romney’s recommendations include grants to small businesses from the Small Business Administration as well as helping students with deferrals of student loan payments and other measures.
Furman’s initial proposal called for a “one-time payment of $1,000 to every adult who is a U.S. citizen or a taxpaying U.S. resident, and $500 to every child who meets the same criteria.”
The law, he added, “should also specify that the payments would continue in 2021 and beyond if the unemployment rate rises to 5.5% and remains there or higher. Hopefully this will not happen, but if it does, the money will be needed.”
Furman told MSNBC that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is “very serious,” and could be more serious than the 2008 crisis.
“In this case, everyone is cutting their spending and lots of people, even if they don’t lose their jobs, will lose time at work, hours, tips, potentially a large blow to their income,” he said.
Former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman:
“This is the most serious economic crisis this country may have faced since the Great Depression, bigger than what we faced in 2008. … I am worried right now.” pic.twitter.com/Oai8VqeVxq
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 13, 2020
Reactions quickly poured in to Romney’s statement and the impact of the proposal which many estimated would cost more than $200 billion.
A $200+ billion proposal. The payroll tax holiday being discussed would cost $800 billion. https://t.co/sOUOjPLCGz
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) March 16, 2020
— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) March 16, 2020
Is he going to pull it out of his @$$ or my wallet?
— DeplorableGeezer (@NeverLib) March 16, 2020
Ridiculous! Everyone could use 1000 dollars, but where is it coming from?
— Sluggo_58 (@sluggo1958) March 16, 2020
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) March 16, 2020
Seeing a proposal of $1,000 a month to every American adult to help with economic hardship caused by #CoronavirusOutbreak: Yeah, I can see how that would be helpful.
Seeing Mitt Romney is the one pushing it: pic.twitter.com/DaTAnTPNDZ
— Katie (@BloggingStaten) March 16, 2020
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