Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., this Wednesday reported she is proposing a universal basic income (UBI) law “this Congress.”
She says the intention is to “get money into American’s pockets” in her Wednesday tweet similar to remarks President Biden made about increasing unemployment benefits for Americans back in January during the pandemic.
“This is long past due,” the far-left Minnesota Democrat said in a tweet responding to an article about Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s decision to give around 200 lower-income families $500 per month for two years using left over American Rescue Plan money.
“Next up: Nationwide UBI,” Omar tweeted. “This Congress, I will be putting forward a UBI program to get money to people.”
This is long overdue.
Next step: Implementing UBI nationwide.
This Congress, I’ll be introducing a UBI pilot program to get money in people’s pockets. https://t.co/HU3KBQx6Sz
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 9, 2021
The pandemic made Americans think about the pros and cons of UBI. The Trump White House was first to give $1,200 payments to Americans in 2020 as a part of his $2.2 trillion CARES bill. The administration also gave $600 checks later on in the $900 billion relief bill.
President Biden then gave $1,400 stimulus checks this March as a part of the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion program.
Mayor Frey told reporters that he was inspired by other UBI plans, like the one in St. Paul, which gave 150 families $500 a month in October.
Over 50 American mayors across the nation have joined forces to create a pro-UBI group called Mayors for Guaranteed Income, but Frey is not listed as a member.
Opponents of UBI say that checks from the government will provide incentive for people to not work. Business owners have also blamed a shortage of workers on weekly unemployment, which some states stopped early in a drive to increase employment numbers.
The Labor Dept.’s May jobs numbers showed an added 559,000 jobs, missing Wall Street’s anticipated number of 650,000. It was the second consecutive missed expectation for job creation: In April, the economy gave 278,000 more jobs, much less than the 1 million predicted.
Author: Blake Ambrose