Bernie Sanders demands $2,000 in cash
Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a press conference at his campaign office in Burlington, Vermont on March 4, 2020.
Caitlin Och | Reuters
Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday called for a monthly payment of $2,000 to each American household for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
During a speech on how to respond to the destruction caused by the global pandemic, Sanders said he assumed the federal government would have to spend about $2 trillion “to prevent deaths, job losses and avoid an economic catastrophe”.
“We can do this. We can solve this crisis. We can minimize the pain,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said during a live stream on a night when Florida, Illinois and Arizona are hosting primary elections.
Sanders did not mention the primaries or campaign strategy during remarks.
The senator also called for unemployment insurance of up to 100% of a worker’s previous wages with a cap of $75,000. He proposed a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures and utility shutdowns, as well as a waiver of all student loan repayments, as workers face job losses.
Sanders also asked Medicare to manage all costs for emergency coverage during the crisis. He pushed the government to use emergency authority to spur increased production of supplies such as masks and ventilators.
He also called for imposing conditions on companies if they receive taxpayer assistance, such as a ban on stock buybacks and executive bonuses.
Washington officials have scrambled to avert economic disaster as the restaurant, travel and entertainment industries reel from the outbreak. Many cities and states have closed schools and regular activities to encourage residents to stay home and prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.
Congress is working on a massive stimulus package that could cost more than $1 trillion, with more measures to tackle the outbreak likely to come. Trump administration’s stimulus package could include one-time cash payment to all Americansan idea that has made its way among the Republicans.
At least 5,984 cases have been reported in the United Statesand at least 100 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.