Since Joe Biden named Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate in the November presidential election, people have been interested in knowing more about Harris’ stance on monthly economic stimulus checks for Americans, which she had been vocal about in recent months. If Biden is elected this fall, there’s a greater chance Harris’ stimulus plan could become a reality in early 2021.
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act was introduced by Harris and two other senators in May. It 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.
This act even promises to provide retroactive payment for every month of the pandemic dating back to March. However, this plan has received mixed support from Democrats, and virtually no support from Republicans in Congress — which means it could only become law if Democrats who support the approach win enough Congressional seats in the November elections.
But how quickly could these payments arrive?
Here’s what you need to know:
Harris’ Plan Could Become a Reality in Early 2021 If Democrats Win the White House & Enough Senate Seats
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 possible that Harris’ stimulus plan could pass Congress and become a reality in early 2021, pending a few key factors. First, Biden and Harris would have to win the presidential election in November. Second, the Senate would have to swing toward a Democratic majority; otherwise, it would be virtually impossible to pass such a hefty plan for stimulus checks, given how resistant the current Republican-led Senate is to passing any plan for stimulus checks.
Lastly, the status of the pandemic several months from now would play a large factor. Support for monthly payments in December or January would be largely impacted by the status of the virus at that time — including factors like whether businesses and schools have been able to re-open and stay open — as well as the status of the country’s economy and unemployment rate. Since Biden and his cabinet would only enter the White House in January 2021 after the inauguration, Americans would likely not expect these payments to start until the end of January at the very earliest.
It’s also possible that Harris might stop pushing for her stimulus check proposal, now that she’s been named the vice-presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket. Though she was extremely vocal about Americans’ need for monthly financial 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 prioritize stimulus payments in the months to come.
How Much Money Could You Receive From Harris’ Plan?
As mentioned above, Harris’ proposal 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 less than $120,000 would be eligible; the payments would be reduced for income more than $100,000 for individuals or $200,000 for married couples. This plan would send a payment to every U.S. citizen, even those without a Social Security number and those who haven’t filed a recent tax return. Debt collectors would not be allowed to seize this money.
This plan means that a married couple with a combined income of $200,000 or less with three or more children would receive $10,000 a month — but that doesn’t account for the retroactive payments.
This means that in addition to a monthly payment of up to $10,000, families could also receive a lump payment of over $50,000 to begin with, and individuals who qualify for $2,000 a month could receive a lump payment of $12,000 to begin with. Harris’ plan doesn’t stipulate if that retroactive payment would be sent in a lump sum, or portioned out over time.