Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday proposed that the government send $2,000 monthly cash payments to every single American for as long as the coronavirus crisis lasts, as part of a set of “principles” that added up to at least $2 trillion.

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday proposed that the government send $2,000 monthly cash payments to every single American for as long as the coronavirus crisis lasts, as part of a set of “principles” that added up to at least $2 trillion.

While the political jockeying gets more attention, candidates in the 2020 Democratic presidential race are advancing serious policy proposals. The Washington Times takes a weekly look at how the candidates’ proposals stack up against each other.
With a focus on the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis, the candidates have offered new proposals on that front.
Sanders
Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday proposed that the government send $2,000 monthly cash payments to every single American for as long as the coronavirus crisis lasts, as part of a set of “principles” that added up to at least $2 trillion.
“In this moment of crisis, it is imperative that we stand together,” Mr. Sanders said. “We must guarantee that everyone who needs care can get it for free, ensure that all workers continue to receive paychecks so they can make ends meet, and stop giant corporations and Wall Street from profiting off the outbreak.”
The senator proposed setting up an “Emergency Economic Crisis Finance Agency” that would work with businesses to cover payroll costs to avoid layoffs and make 0% loans and loan guarantees to businesses.
He also wants to aggressively crack down on price-gouging and ban stock buybacks and bonuses for company executives.
Mr. Sanders’ plan would expand unemployment insurance so that people who lose their job through no fault of their own would qualify for benefits totaling 100% of their prior salary, capped at $75,000 per year.
He would waive student loan payments during the emergency, put a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and utility shutoffs, and suspend payments on mortgage loans for primary residences and utility bills.
Mr. Sanders, who has made a government-run “Medicare for All” health care system a cornerstone of his campaign, called for free coronavirus-related health care for everyone, including testing, treatment, and any eventual vaccine.
The senator’s proposal would use the Defense Production Act to scale up production of critical supplies like masks and ventilators.
Biden
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday called on President Trump to waive certain antitrust laws, if necessary, so that industries could work together and remove barriers to speed production of key medical supplies that will be needed to deal with the pandemic.
It was part of a series of proposals Mr. Biden called on the current administration to take immediately to respond to the growing threat.
“Americans are already making sacrifices and readjusting their lives, and I know that as a people, we are capable of meeting this challenge, coming together, caring for one another, and saving lives,” Mr. Biden said. “We just need President Trump and his administration to demonstrate the same level of dedication and aggressive leadership at the federal level to mount an effective national response.”
Mr. Biden said that essential supplies should have a “priority call” above other contracts or orders, in collaboration with the health community, so that the federal government doesn’t “strip the private sector” of needed supplies.
Mr. Biden said that loans, purchase commitments, or other incentives could be used to expand domestic production without disrupting things too much.
He called on Mr. Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to step up the domestic production of critical medical equipment, like ventilators.
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