As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, Americans are preparing to spend a lot more time at home.
Cities across the country have taken drastic steps to limit exposure to the highly contagious virus, including shutting down restaurants, cancelling crowded events, and closing schools.
The economic impact of these closures threatens to hurt the livelihood of millions of Americans—especially servers and other hourly workers, many of whom don't have paid sick leave.
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) is proposing a radical measure to offset this negative impact: giving one thousand dollars to every American adult.
The idea was one of a few possible solutions Romney proposed to his colleagues as he urged them to take up the House's emergency coronavirus package.
The proposal says:
"Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy."
Romney said of the effort:
"We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services."
The idea represents a sharp diversion from the traditional Republican platform, and some were surprised to see Romney propose it.
Add to the list of things our past selves would never have believed about the future: Mitt Romney advocating for U… https://t.co/k6idH6ZIOh— Katie Hill (@Katie Hill) 1584376596.0
I admit, I did not foresee Mitt Romney coming out in favor of UBI. https://t.co/Blglc4owXL— Susan Hennessey (@Susan Hennessey) 1584373651.0
Romney going Yang was not on my pandemic bingo card. https://t.co/iXeFmDYASV— Tiffany Bond (I) 🎱🦞🇺🇸 (@Tiffany Bond (I) 🎱🦞🇺🇸) 1584374081.0
The idea sounded familiar to some who compared it to former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang's platform of giving every American adult $1,000 a month for life.
Mitt Romney, welcome to the Yang Gang. https://t.co/4wSpcvsp6Y— Ben Collins (@Ben Collins) 1584373630.0
When Yang sees Mitt Romney saying every American should get $1,000 immediately https://t.co/Y7c3iYYiOO— The Daily Show (@The Daily Show) 1584377965.0
Pretty sure Mitt Romney just joined the Yang Gang. https://t.co/LFij8coqbo— Adam Best (@Adam Best) 1584377648.0
Some insist that a universal basic income is what this country needs.
GOP & Democrats are both coming to the same conclusion: Universal Basic Income is going to have to play a role in h… https://t.co/1RQIdwubzs— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1584374512.0
Thrilled to see @MittRomney proposing $1,000 checks. This would a critical floor of social insurance for hundreds o… https://t.co/D8NaNty1XZ— Jason Furman (@Jason Furman) 1584374913.0
Andrew Yang told us UBI was a bipartisan solution and he was right. Politicians from all across the political spect… https://t.co/Ey18ySNqMT— Zach and Matt Show (@Zach and Matt Show) 1584382140.0
What an interesting timeline we find ourselves in.