Politics

Amid Hiring Shortages, Ilhan Omar Says Her Next Step Is ‘Implementing’ Universal Basic Income ‘Nationwide’

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said Wednesday she will introduce a bill to implement universal basic income (UBI) at some point in Congress.

“This Congress, I’ll be introducing a UBI pilot program to get money in people’s pockets,” Omar tweeted. The congresswoman was responding to a story from the Minnesota Star Tribune about Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s new UBI pilot plan.

Frey plans to give about 200 low-income families $500 a month for a span of two years using leftover funds from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, according to Fox News.

“This is long overdue,” Omar said. “Next step: Implementing UBI nationwide.”

Both the Biden administration and former President Donald Trump sent direct stimulus payments to the American people in response to the economic harm wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have called for longer-term UBI programs as a permanent solution for economic instability.

UBI was first brought into the mainstream by the 2020 presidential campaign of Democrat Andrew Yang, who’s now a frontrunner in New York City’s mayoral election. Yang proposed sending $1,000 per month to every American permanently. (RELATED: Psaki Dodges On Whether Unemployment Benefits Are Slowing COVID Recovery)

Despite a heavy injection of investment into the economy from the Biden administration, the U.S. has still not recovered fully from pandemic restrictions. There is a hiring shortage ongoing in service industries, and some economists and elected officials have blamed the situation on overly-generous unemployment benefits from Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

A number of states have cut off the extra unemployment benefits implemented due to the pandemic, but jobs reports have continued to underwhelm so far during Biden’s tenure in the White House.