Joe Biden has chosen Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the November election. Now, many are curious about Harris’ stance on stimulus checks, a position she has been very vocal about in recent months. Harris’ stimulus proposal would send monthly payments to millions of Americans, and would even provide retroactive payment for every month of the pandemic leading up to the present.
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, introduced by Harris and two other senators in May, would send $2,000 per month to individuals and $4,000 to married couples who file jointly, along with an additional $2,000 per child, up to three children. Any individual earning under $120,000 would be eligible; the payments would be reduced for income over $100,000 for individuals or $200,000 for married couples. The payments would be phased out by 10% of any amount over these limits.
But how likely is this act to pass Congress and become a reality for millions of Americans?
Here’s what you need to know:
Biden Has Not Yet Given His Public Support for Harris’ Stimulus Plan
Did she ask you to endorse her $2k monthly stimulus bill yet? If she hasn't yet, here's over 371,000 people who have.https://t.co/W8nYIz57zI
— Scott Santens🧢🏄♂️ (@scottsantens) August 13, 2020
Though Biden has selected Harris as his running mate for the election, he hasn’t yet spoken at length about where he aligns with her, policy-wise. He hasn’t gotten into the specifics of any of Harris’ stances, let alone her stance on a monthly stimulus check throughout the pandemic.
Biden himself has made virtually no public comment about stimulus checks, either. His official website indicates he would do the following to remedy the pandemic-induced crisis in America:
- Provide another stimulus check “should conditions require.”
- Forgive $10,000 per person of federal student loans, minimum.
- Increase monthly Social Security checks by $200 each.
- Offer emergency paid sick leave to every American worker.
- Ensure that no one has to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 testing, treatment or any future relevant vaccine.
- Provide “all necessary fiscal relief.”
Harris’ Plan Could Become a Reality After the November Election, Pending Presidential & Senate Election Results
For millions of Americans, a one-time $1,200 check won't even cover the monthly rent.
28 million people are on the brink of losing their homes.
We need a nationwide eviction moratorium, rental assistance & a full extension of enhanced unemployment NOW.https://t.co/SpBfMxDxj1
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) August 16, 2020
It’s very possible that Harris’ stimulus plan could pass Congress and become a reality in 2021, pending a few key factors. First, Harris and Biden would have to clench the presidency in November. Second, the Senate would have to swing towards a blue majority, otherwise it would be virtually impossible to pass such a hefty plan for stimulus checks, given how resistant the current Republican-controlled Senate is on passing any plan for stimulus checks.
Lastly, the status of the pandemic a few months from now would play a large factor. Support for monthly payments in December or January would be largely impacted by the current status of the virus (if businesses and schools have been able to re-open and stay open, for example), as well as the current status of the country’s economy and unemployment rate.
It’s also possible that Harris might stop pushing for her stimulus check proposal, now that she’s been named vice president on the Democratic ticket. Though she was extremely vocal about Americans’ need for monthly fiscal support in the months leading up to the announcement, she hasn’t said anything about stimulus checks since she was chosen. This could be an indication that she will not be prioritizing stimulus payments as a platform in the months to come.