One would have to have been living under a rock not to know of the government passing the CARES Act. Under this act, the government is providing most Americans with relief from their current financial hardships brought on by the nation's recent shutdown.
Under the CARES Act, almost all Americans are slated to receive a $1200 stimulus check. However, as the program went live, lawmakers realized that there was more financial assistance than initially believed. As a result, there are several lawmakers, suggesting several proposals that would provide ongoing financial support for Americans.
One of these proposals, which was presented by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Pramila Jayapal, is the Automatic BOOST to Communities (ABC) Act proposal. If the proposal is somehow approved, it would mean that the ABC Act would send each American a BOOST debit card.
The card will arrive preloaded with $2,000, then would subsequently be reloaded each month with an additional $1,000. The reloading of the cards would continue until one year after the COVID-19 crisis has been declared as having ended.
The bill specifies the use of the intended prepaid debit cards for those individuals who do not have a bank account or do not currently have access to services such as check cashing. So, now the question is—who would be eligible for the initial $2,000 stimulus, and the recurring $1,000 after that?
The language in the bill states that no one will be left behind, and those who will eligible are:
- Individuals who do not have a bank account, social security number, or permanent address
- People living in unincorporated territories or protectorates and Americans living abroad
The proposal details that the US Treasury would be working with other fellow governmental agencies to come up with the most extensive list of possible recipients eligible. Those agencies would include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), as well as the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The agencies called upon for the proposal would not stop there, as every federal, state and local government considered relevant would be involved, all the way down to the state-level Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV’s)
As for the means in which the money would be distributed, that would be done through the prepaid debit cards, which will be either direct mail, picked up in person, or through at-risk outreach.
Is this really the best method to get the country back on track?