Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Resolution Calling for Emergency Universal Basic Payment as Direct Coronavirus Pandemic Relief

March 12, 2020
Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced H.Res.897 which provides for a universal basic payment to help Americans across the country weather the storm caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
 
“The coronavirus pandemic has created a threat to the health and well-being of the American people, as well as to our country’s economic stability. While some in Washington are focused on taking care of Wall Street, everyday Americans get left behind. That’s wrong. Instead, we must act swiftly to provide a temporary universal basic payment of $1,000 per month to every American adult to help them weather the storm created by this crisis. Taking care of all Americans will stimulate our economy during this downturn,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “I’ve introduced a resolution that prioritizes people so our economic relief is placed directly into the hands of every American, rather than getting stuck in bureaucracy or ending up in the pockets of big corporations.” 
 
Background: H.Res.897, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be a direct emergency economic stimulus for individual Americans in response to COVID–19, urges the Federal Government to provide an emergency non-taxable Universal Basic Payment of $1,000 per month to all adult Americans until COVID-19 no longer presents a public health emergency. The Universal Basic Payment will be a temporary economic stimulus package to empower Americans directly and immediately.
 
Every day this week, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has attended daily briefings on the novel coronavirus and met with leaders across the Federal government response teams to get more information and answers about COVID-19 testing, preparedness, and access. 
 
Yesterday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sent a letter to President Trump requesting a temporary suspension of all cruise line operations nationwide until there are proper procedures available to ensure with total and absolute certainty that all people can be tested for COVID-19 and cleared before boarding or disembarking cruise ships. She was pleased to see announcements from both Princess Cruises and Viking Cruises that they would be suspending operations through May 10 and May 1, respectively, but several major cruise lines continue to operate, putting the health of thousands at risk. 
 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard previously voted to pass legislation that will provide emergency funds to address the novel coronavirus. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called on the Trump Administration to suspend flights from South Korea and Japan given the prevalence of COVID-19 infections in these countries, until they can guarantee all passengers will be tested prior to boarding flights to the United States.
 
In order to ensure that any treatment developed for COVID-19 is accessible and affordable, Rep. Gabbard joined a letter to President Trump demanding that pharmaceutical companies are not issued exclusive licenses for the production of such treatments or capitalize on drugs that have been funded by billions of taxpayer dollars.
 
Rep. Gabbard also wrote to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar calling for clear guidelines for state and local governments to receive federal reimbursement for the costs they are incurring as part of their response to this public health crisis.
 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a strong advocate to protect social safety net programs built to benefit the young, old, students, disabled, and others. In doing so, she has also worked to address the challenges these programs have in delivering the intended support to Americans most in need. Her resolution seeks to bring the national conversation about universal basic income into the halls of Congress by providing a road map towards its creation.
 
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for 16 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
 
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