That was one of several proposals Romney, a Republican, put forward Monday in his effort to help small businesses and individuals.
The Utah senator and 2012 GOP presidential nominee said his proposals would “build on” the coronavirus package passed by the House of Representatives that the Senate is set to consider this week, but it is unclear if Romney will push for these proposals in that bill or in a potential third bill that has been hinted at by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“The House coronavirus response package contains critical measures to help families in Utah and across the nation in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, and the Senate should act swiftly on this legislation,” Romney said in a press release.
He added: “We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services. I will be pushing these measures as Senate discussions continue about an additional relief package.”
.@CDCgov’s new guidance advises canceling or postponing any in-person gatherings of >50 people for the next 8 weeks, and advises against gatherings of any size unless using strict precautions. https://t.co/FNkIuXje8W
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) March 16, 2020
Making the case for the $1,000 checks, Romney’s news release said that Congress took similar actions to help individuals and small businesses during the recessions in 2001 and 2008. Many online noted Romney’s proposal resembles the Universal Basic Income (UBI) proposed by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. While the amount of money Romney wants to send people is the same as Yang’s $1,000 per month UBI, Romney only intends the checks as a temporary, stopgap measure — not a true UBI.
“While expansions of paid leave, unemployment insurance, and SNAP benefits are crucial, the check will help fill the gaps for Americans that may not quickly navigate different government options,” the press release said.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, introduced a resolution last week calling for $1,000 per month payments to every American adult until the coronavirus threat has passed. She termed it a “temporary universal basic payment.”
GOP FL Rep Scott on coronavirus bill: I am very concerned about some of the mandates in this bill that will hurt small businesses..I’m concerned that adding layers of gov't bureaucracy, regulation and mandates will make it harder for help to get to the people that need it most
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 16, 2020
Romney’s proposals would also give bridge grants to certain small businesses, let college students using Pell Grants factor in coronavirus-related travel costs into their award from the government, defer college loan payments for graduates and have the federal government pay private insurers to cover coronavirus-related telehealth services.
This comes as it is uncertain how quickly the Senate will be able to pass the bill sent to it by the House late last week. Several senators have expressed concern about its contents and the body will first have to get past a vote on FISA before it can even consider the coronavirus bill.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.
Author: Tyler Olson