WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — A major sticking point in the COVID-19 coronavirus relief bill continues to be how to get money into the pockets of out-of-work Americans.
Democrats and Republicans agree financial relief has to happen, but what it looks like remains elusive.
One idea is to send a check to nearly all Americans.
It would be a fast way to get money into most Americans’ hands.
“We all recognize getting money to people who are not receiving a paycheck is important,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
Cornyn supports the idea.
“Well I think we all feel the need to act quickly to get money to the people who are, through no fault of their own, out of a job,” he said.
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown agrees, as long as workers in need are prioritized above corporations.
“If we’re going to do a relief package, the money needs to go in the pockets of workers,” Brown said.
Questions remain though—who qualifies for relief money? How much is sent? And is this a one-time event?
“I sort of see it as something that is immediately necessary given the circumstances,” said Jonathan Bydlak, a fiscal policy expert with the non-partisan R Street Institute.
He agrees the measure is needed fast, but added it’s not clear if the government would issue money several times or just once.
“That’s really a question of how the economy looks a couple of months from now,” Bydlak said.
With more workers going without a paycheck, Bydlak said right now, sending checks to Americans who qualify is a dependable way to stabilize at least some part of the economy.
“The biggest advantage right now is that it’s a quick way to get relief to people who actually need it,” he said.
Trump administration officials have already said Americans with high incomes won’t be eligible for relief money.
But at this point, it’s not clear when Congress will approve the relief package.