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Tim Ryan wants fed money in workers’ hands

HOWLAND — U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan is proposing most Americans get a $1,000 monthly payment — and up to $3,000 per month for families — from the federal government to help during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The proposal would give the money monthly for at least six months and then be reviewed to be given for another six months.

“The focus here is getting money directly to the American people,” said Ryan, D-Howland.

He added: “I’m trying to shift the focus around small businesses and working people.”

Ryan is co-sponsoring the bill with U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Fremont, Calif.

Ryan acknowledged Monday he doesn’t have the support yet from any senators for his bill, but noted that backing to give Americans money is being strongly considered by Congress.

Ryan’s proposal would be to give $1,000 per month to each American and up to $3,000 per month for families with at least two children. The proposal is for $1,000 per adult and $500 per child up to two children in a household. It would go to every individual who earns less than $130,000 annually and every family that makes less than $260,000.

If the proposal is approved, Ryan said the money could be sent in a few weeks.

“It’s not a one-time check,” he said.

A proposal in the Senate calls for one-time payments of $1,200 per individual who reported less than $75,000 in income or $2,400 per couple who made less than $150,000 combined. Also, $500 would be added for every dependent child. There is consideration to give the payments a second time. Ryan said: “1,200 bucks is a nice first step, but more is needed.”

As for the pandemic and its impact on the economy, Ryan said, “We’re nowhere close to being at the end of this.”

Ryan said his proposal would operate as a temporary, emergency Earned Income Tax Credit.

Also, those who earn no income, were unemployed or are currently unemployed because of the outbreak would be eligible for the monthly payments, Ryan said.

The payments wouldn’t count as income, he said, in order to protect eligibility for any of the income-based state or federal government assistance programs.

Ryan made the announcement during a video conference from his Howland home. He originally planned to host the event in downtown Youngstown but changed it.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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