Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) speaks during a news conference on Thursday, March 11, 2021.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) speaks during a news conference on Thursday, March 11, 2021. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images)

Tlaib Unveils Bill to Provide Monthly Payments to Everyone in US—Funded by Minting Trillion-Dollar Coins

"A one-time survival check isn't enough to get people through this crisis."

Jake Johnson

Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Pramila Jayapal on Tuesday introduced legislation that would provide everyone in the U.S. with $2,000 monthly payments during the coronavirus crisis and $1,000 per month for a year after the emergency ends in an effort to guarantee sustained relief for millions struggling to afford food, rent, and other basic expenses amid the pandemic.

"In the last year of this global pandemic, we have seen corporations and CEOs reap the benefits of payouts and soaring profits while everyday workers, low-income people,and families across the country have been left to scrape by without any recurring, aggressive, and inclusive financial assistance from our federal government," said Tlaib. "Folks need far more aid."

"People don't only need relief, they need stability, certainty, and predictability, and the ABC Act delivers them exactly that."
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

The Automatic BOOST to Communities (ABC) Act proposes financing the payments with an unconventional plan that would direct the Treasury Department to use its legal authority to mint as many $1 trillion platinum coins as necessary to fund the legislation, which would continue until a year after the public health emergency ends or the unemployment rate stabilizes at a low level.

The idea of using the U.S. Mint to cover government costs rose to prominence in 2011 during a fight over the debt ceiling and briefly emerged once again in 2013. As Matthew O'Brien explained in The Atlantic at the time, federal law "lets the Treasury create coins in whatever value it wants, even $1 trillion."

"It's all straightforward enough," O'Brien wrote. "The Treasury would create one of these coins, deposit it at the Federal Reserve, and use the new money in its account to pay our bills."

Tlaib's office presents the proposed financing mechanism as a way to assuage the fears of debt mongers concerned about the price tag of sending recurring payments to everyone in the U.S. Funding the bill by having the Treasury mint trillion-dollar coins would mean "no additional debt," according to the Michigan Democrat, who has a website devoted to explaining the idea.

Jayapal, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement Tuesday that "this unprecedented moment demands an unprecedented response."

"People don't only need relief, they need stability, certainty, and predictability, and the ABC Act delivers them exactly that," Jayapal continued. "Our legislation acknowledges that a one-time survival check isn't enough to get people through this crisis. Instead, we send out recurring checks every month during the crisis and for a year after it ends. That is money in people's pockets, and certainty in their lives."

Tlaib and Jayapal's bill comes as one-time direct payments approved under the recently passed American Rescue Plan (ARP) continue to land in people's bank accounts and arrive in the mail in check form.

Unlike the ARP, which restricts eligibility for the payments based on income, the ABC Act calls for universal direct payments to ensure that no one in need of financial assistance is left behind.

To guarantee that everyone would benefit, the ABC Act proposes the creation of an "emergency responder corps to be deployed to vulnerable communities to ensure they have access to the direct payments and other needed resources," according to Tlaib's office. The payments would be distributed through direct deposit or debit cards issued by the Treasury Department.

"The ABC Act would provide the type of relief at the scale and consistency that people actually need," Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, said in a statement. "This is a transformational piece of legislation and it has our full support."

This article has been corrected to reflect that the bill would provide $2,000 per month during the coronavirus crisis and $1,000 per month after the crisis ends.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·


Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Are Fighting Back': Global Black Friday Strikes and Protests Seek to #MakeAmazonPay

"We are workers and activists divided by geography and our role in the global economy but united in our commitment to Make Amazon Pay fair wages, its taxes, and for its impact on the planet."

Kenny Stancil ·


'It Was Entirely Avoidable': Rich Countries Blamed as New Covid Variant Sparks Global Alarm

"Allowing new variants to emerge and spread, 13 months into the vaccine era, is a policy choice by the rich world."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo