Momentum Builds for Regular Cash Payments

09. 24. 2020

“When we started talking about this, it was frankly all white papers and intellectual debates in the margins of the internet”

– Natalie Foster, Co-chair of Economic Security Project.

Six months into the global pandemic, and the push for getting regular cash payments to help keep families afloat is gaining steam. Once considered a radical idea, recurring cash payments are now supported by a majority of Americans, members on both sides of the aisle in Congress, and even the leading candidates for President and Vice President.

New national polling released today and conducted by Lake Research Partners found 76% support for regular payments that continue until the economic crisis is over. In a similar vein, new data from a Public Policy Polling survey of voters in battleground congressional districts reveal that 70% of likely voters agree “the federal government should spend what it takes right now to help Americans who are struggling to afford basic needs like food and housing,” while only 20% agree “the federal government should scale back support to reduce the national debt.”

Economic Security Project Action also released a series of web ads featuring small business owners talking about how direct checks would help keep small businesses afloat, such as Juan from King County, Washington who says, “I’m bleeding capital… I can very well lose everything. And that’s a scary situation… That $2000 monthly direct cash payment would help with some of these utilities.” Juan is just one of the more than 1,200 small business owners who have signed a letter calling on Congress to pass ongoing regular cash payments.

In addition:

  • The leading candidates for President and VP support regular payments. Joe Biden’s COVID relief proposal calls for additional checks to families if the economy continues to struggle. Senator Harris, a long-time champion for recurring cash payments, co-sponsored legislation to give monthly $2,000 payments to individuals during the coronavirus crisis.
  • More than 25 Mayors launched Mayors for a Guaranteed Income to advocate for state and federal direct cash solutions.
  • More than ¾ of House Democrats support legislation to give regular direct payments to families that need it most.
  • The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 50 Democratic and Republican Members of Congress, included multiple $1200 payments in their recent stimulus proposal.
  • More than 150 economists signed a letter calling for recurring cash payments.
  • 1.8 million people have signed a Change.org petition calling for monthly payments to every American.

As the pandemic continues, families continue to struggle, and direct cash continues to be the most direct and effective way to help them make ends meet. Recent research from the Urban Institute found that two direct payments would keep 14 million people out of poverty, compared to only 4 million for unemployment insurance and SNAP combined.