Congressman Steven Horsford Supports Universal Basic Income Legislation

March 18, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- Today, March 17, 2020, Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) became a co-sponsor of Emergency Money to the People Act, to get emergency money to Americans hit hardest by the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

“As the livelihoods of many Americans, and most Nevadans, are threatened by the spread of coronavirus, Congress must protect our constituents from the possibility of economic devastation by putting money in their pockets as speedily as we can,” Congressman Horsford said. “With this legislation, we can give our constituents peace of mind that, despite closures and an inability to go to work, they will still be able to put food on their table and support their families. I’ve said it before: No family should have to worry about their physical health and their financial health at the same time.”

The Emergency Money to the People Act would put at least $1,000 in the pockets of all American adults earning up to $100,000--more than two-thirds of Americans--in order to help those hit hardest by the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Congressman Horsford plans to fight to increase the benefits to $2,500 for middle class families.

The proposal builds on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)’s proven anti-poverty and anti-recession track record to ensure that families can cover basic needs like rent, groceries and medicine. Emergency Money to the People Act would boost the economy by giving extra cash to lower-income Americans who are the most likely to spend it, providing more money to more people more quickly.

The Emergency Money to the People Act would: 

  • Provide an additional EITC to all current EITC recipients based on 2019 tax returns, at least doubling their 2020 credit
  • Secure an economic life-line to the lowest-income Americans who are already facing the worst effect of the economic crisis. Families starting at $0 that are not currently eligible for the EITC would receive at least $1,000.
  • Expand eligibility to more in the middle class, including individuals earning up to $50K without children and couples earning up to $100K with children. 
  • Remove an exclusion for younger and older adults without children, and for immigrant taxpayers who file using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). 
  • Give Americans an immediate payment of half of the new credit, with the other half being paid out in two equal payments three and six months later, to make the stimulus both immediate and lasting.
  • Provide a simple online form to get the credit out more quickly for new EITC recipients without dependents. 
  • Result in more stimulus per dollar spent compared to a payroll tax cut. 
  • Reduce inequality and counterbalance the recessionary impacts that hit people of color and other marginalized groups the hardest, by delivering most of the benefits to the bottom half of earners. 

Last week, Congressman Horsford introduced, and passed in the House of Representative, H.R. 6199, the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020, ensure that states can provide earned benefits to those who lose their jobs or are furloughed because of the spread of coronavirus. H.R. 6199 would secure roughly $5 million in assistance for Nevada immediately, with another possible $5 million and 100 percent funding for extended benefits if the state sees very significant job loss.