Democratic Congressmen Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California introduced legislation this week that would pay all qualifying Americans aged 16 or older $2,000 every month.
Families would also receive an additional $500 for each child, up to three per household.
"I'm not really sure that the anxiety level on the ground is yet understood by some people in Washington, DC," Ryan told Cheddar Friday. "People are struggling. People are afraid...There's no end in sight."
Millions of Americans have already received a one-time $1,200 federal stimulus check, as part of a $2 trillion package signed into law by President Donald Trump in March.
"A $1,200 one-time check, while we're all thankful for that, that is nowhere close to where we need to be," Ryan said.
The congressman is not only concerned with the 22 million Americans who lost their jobs in the last month but also the ones working long hours at grocery stores and in hospitals to keep up with soaring demand. Ryan says that women are being disproportionately affected.
"Let's help people where they are on the ground. They're getting burned out," he said. "The last thing we want them to do is to fall back on their mortgages, fall back on auto payments."
Although Ryan did not offer many details about funding for the ambitious plan, he contended that funding questions more often arise when discussing working-class bailouts rather than bailouts for other groups.
"No one was asking, 'How much did the tax cut cost a few years ago,'" Ryan said. "We will have to borrow this money, but the interest rates are the lowest they've ever been in a long, long time."
Economists have been arguing lately whether the next economic recovery has the potential to be V-shaped, U-shaped or L-shaped. Ryan thinks whatever shape the recovery takes, it begins with protecting the consumer.
"If we want to get out of this recovery… you're gonna need consumers with money in their pocket," he said. "Let's tilt the scales a little bit to working-class people. To me, this is the cleanest, most efficient and effective way to help."