Ed Markey has joined forces with his U.S. Senate colleagues, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, to create a plan that would provide relief to Americans struggling to survive through the pandemic.
"It would ensure that they would have the income in their pockets to be able to make it through this crisis," Markey said.
The Monthly Economic Support Act would provide $2,000 each month to people earning $120,000 or less annually.
Married couples would receive $4,000, and families would receive $2,000 per child up to three children.
Payments would be retroactive to March and would continue for three months after the president ends the public health emergency.
"The program would cost about $5 trillion, between now and the end of the year," Markey said. "But it's a price we're going to have to pay."
Economic analyst Jim Lowell has a different view.
"I don't think that throwing money at a problem, especially given that we're already throwing trillions of dollars at the problem, makes a lot of sense," he said.
Lowell says he would rather see a bipartisan agreement, in the vein of the New Deal, where those trillions of dollars could be spent to repair not just bridges and roads, but, he added, "also the new technological inroads, so that we can get to a more equitable and equitably educated workforce."
Markey says the country can't afford not to do it.
Still, the Republican-controlled Senate will undoubtedly oppose it.
"We're going to have to fight for this, but ultimately, I think it's going to be the American people in red states, red cities, that are rising up, saying, 'we need help,'" Markey said.
Any future relief packages will likely not happen soon. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says negotiations with Congress are halted until June.