Andrew Yang said Tuesday that his nonprofit group has been in touch with the White House about an economic stimulus proposal that would give $1,000 to Americans, an idea he made central to his Democratic presidential campaign he ended in February.
“We’re in contact. We are doing anything we can to help. Obviously, this is a crisis and we all need to pull together to try to keep the country strong and whole,” Yang, now a CNN political commentator, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar.
Yang said his team on Humanity Forward, which he launched earlier this month, reached out to the White House to offer support.
“(The White House) said, ‘We’d love any resources you have in terms of studies as to what cash in people’s hands can do,'” Yang said.
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.
A prominent platform of Yang’s presidential campaign was his so-called Freedom Dividend — a proposal to give every American adult $1,000 a month in a universal basic income.
The Trump administration is pushing a proposal to inject $1 trillion into the economy to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Tuesday appeared to express support for the proposal to provide Americans with $1,000 and indicated it would be raised during his Capitol Hill meetings.
“I think it’s clear we don’t need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks. But we like — that’s one of the ideas we like. We’re going to preview that today and then we’ll be talking about details afterwards,” Mnuchin told reporters during a news conference at the White House.
But some Republicans have voiced opposition to the idea. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday that receiving $1,000 would not address the needs of people who lose their job due to coronavirus containment policies.
“They don’t need $1,000, they need a sustainable income — either through loans from their employers to keep the payroll coming or get on unemployment insurance or something like it so they’ll have income,” Graham said. “Our No. 1 job right now is to provide income to those people who have lost their job because of the virus.”
Yang told CNN he’s “thrilled they’re doing the right thing” and that “giving cash into American families’ hands is 100% the right move.”
“It is vital to help tens of millions of American families to keep their heads above water during this time,” Yang said.