Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan took to Twitter Friday evening to call on former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang to testify before Congress about the benefits of a universal basic income (UBI), which his campaign centered around.
“As soon as the House continues holding hearings, I’d like to invite @andrewyang to the Hill to testify about the benefits of a permanent UBI,” Ryan tweeted.
Ryan, also a former presidential hopeful, called for a meeting of the “greatest minds” to create solutions to ensure all Americans feel financially secure “before disaster strikes.”
Yang, who is currently providing cash payments to Americans through his non-profit, Humanity Forward, responded to Ryan’s request just minutes later.
“Thanks Tim. Of course I’d be glad to be there. Congrats on helping lead the stimulus bill in the right direction.”
The 45-year-old Humanity Forward founder is referring to the $1 trillion stimulus package that is being negotiated to provide Americans with cash to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. As reported by Cheddar, Ryan previously said the current iteration of the bill doesn’t go far enough.
“Quite frankly I think the package that we’re seeing coming out of Washington, DC is not even close to meeting the big need that we have,” Ryan told the publication, noting he believes it should be closer to $2 trillion and provide a minimum of $1 trillion for workers.
Ryan also pushed for increasing unemployment insurance to ensure Americans are making the same amount of money they did from their jobs, which are either temporarily or permanently gone amid the COVID-19 crisis.
This is an important chart I want everyone to know about. There are communities all over the US who have never recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. What's happening right now is going to make their suffering even worse. We have to get UBI underneath everyone ASAP. #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/6feLwm4wzD
— Scott Santens???? (@scottsantens) March 15, 2020
The current stimulus plan would provide $1,200 or more to all Americans. However, it would penalize low-income earners making less than $2,500 per year. As The Inquisitr reported, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley recently proposed an amendment to ensure that low-income Americans are no longer penalized.
Mitch McConnell challenger Mike Broihier, Yang, and UBI advocate Scott Santens — who also expressed his desire to testify before Congress on UBI — signed a petition that pressures Democratic lawmakers to pass a UBI bill that does not include means-testing. Such a move echoes Hawley, who said that emergency relief should not be “regressive.”
“We want to clearly state to Congress that they must include substantial, ongoing payments to Americans for the duration of the crisis,” the petition reads.
Yang has also expressed his desire for any emergency UBI proposal to continue, pointing to his campaign, which highlighted the many benefits of such a proposal for the health and stability of Americans.