A GROUP of economists have called on the US government to provide continuous stimulus checks to Americans for "as long as necessary" amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
An open letter, signed by 156 top economists, urged policymakers to provide recurring direct cash payments to help improve financial security, boost consumer spending and help speed up the economy's recovery.
"Direct cash payments are an essential tool that will boost economic security, drive consumer spending, hasten the recovery, and promote certainty at all levels of government and the economy – for as long as necessary," the letter said.
The letter, which was published by advocacy groups the Economy Security Project and the Justice Collaborative, said that even as jobs begin to come back, the economy will not recover until Americans are no longer afraid to spend.
“The first round of economic impact payments were a lifeline that helped some get by for a few weeks,” the letter said.
“Even after businesses start to re-open and jobs begin to come back, there will be significant economic fallout, and demand will continue to lag if people don’t have money to spend.”
Another round of stimulus payments – like the $1,200 ones issued to Americans in April – are currently being debated by lawmakers in Congress and the White House.
President Donald Trump is reportedly supportive of sending another round of checks out, however, Republicans in Congress are apparently split on the issue.
During a Monday visit to a Kentucky food pantry, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell said that the next round of stimulus checks may only be sent out to Americans who earn less than $40,000 a year.
In their open letter, the economists didn't specify a specific cash amount they think is needed, or how often the checks should go out, but they did make it clear that they believe regular payments are the best way to ensure families stay afloat and drive economic activity.
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