Ilhan Omar Proposes Helicopter Money Bailout: $1000 For Adults And $500 For Children

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Written by Ann Brown
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Ilhan Omar proposes helicopter money bailout of $1,000 for adults and $500 for children. Other lawmakers are doing the same. In this Jan. 16, 2019 file photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., center, walks through the halls of the Capitol Building in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase and more of America’s workforce is furloughed, some lawmakers are looking at ways to help financially stressed citizens.

Ilhan Omar, for one, has put forward a bill to issue helicopter money. On Tuesday she tweeted, “I am introducing a bill this week to give: $1,000 to every American adult. $500 for every child. No exceptions.”

Omar is not the only one suggesting bailouts for citizens. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are making similar proposals. 

Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also proposed immediate payments of $2,000 for every American adult and child followed by additional payments later this year. The additional payments could equal up to $18,000 for a family of four under the plan.

Under the Booker-Bennet-Brown plan, if the U.S. is still in a public health emergency in July, Americans would get another $1,500 each. If the same is true in October, everyone would get another $1,000, Vox reported. “If the public health emergency is over in either July or October when the Treasury secretary does his quarterly check-in, but unemployment has increased by a single point, the checks still go out. If unemployment rises by half a point, the checks are cut in half, but they still go out. Americans could get as much as $4,500 per person, or $18,000 for a family of four, if all the payments outlined in the plan go out.”

Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) proposed checks of up to $6,000 to every American earning less than $65,000, Common Dreams reported.

Kamala Harris, meanwhile, was blasted for suggesting $500 COVID-19 bailout bags of helicopter money, which was lower than amounts suggested by Republicans.

Mitt Romney wants the government to give every American adult $1,000 during the coronavirus outbreak

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“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 said in a press release. “Congress took similar action during the 2001 and 2008 recessions. While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits (the program formerly known as food stamps) are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options.”

Even President Donald Trump seems to be on board with a helicopter-money bailout.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he and Trump support sending $1,000 checks straight to the American people as tens of millions face furloughs, layoffs, and financial uncertainty as the coronavirus outbreak spreads— “a major shift of the Overton Window regarding direct cash assistance for Americans amid the pandemic,” Common Dreams reported.

“We are looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” Mnuchin told the press this week. “Americans need to get cash now and the president wants to get cash now, and I mean now—in the next two weeks.”

The bailouts could be a plus for households, depending on how they are issued. “If the cash is genuinely unrestricted, it would be a historic move,” Dylan Matthews wrote at Vox.com. “While Americans received checks as part of the response to recessions in 2001 and 2008, those were sent out as rebates or refunds to taxpayers. Never before have all Americans, regardless of income, and including the poorest citizens who do not earn enough money to have positive income tax burdens, gotten checks.”