Alabama senator proposes debit cards for COVID-19 relief payments

U.S. & World

In this photo taken Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, Susie Garza displays the city provided debit card she receives monthly through a trial program in Stockton, Calif. Garza is participating in the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration. The program, which started in February, gives $500 a month to 125 people who earn at or below the median household income of $46,033. They can spend the money with no restrictions. Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, who initiated the privately funded program, says it could be a solution to the city’s poverty problem. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Senators Doug Jones (D-AL) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark) applauded the announcement by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the Administration will adopt the senators’ proposal to use debit cards for COVID-19 relief payments.

Sens. Jones and Cotton serve together on the Senate Banking Committee. The proposal to use debit cards will expedite the distribution of CARES Act relief payments to eligible Americans.

Under the CARES Act, Americans who filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 received $1,200 checks through direct deposit or check by mail at the beginning of April. The stimulus payment was sent to help Americans during the coronavirus pandemic as many have experienced temporary layoffs or job terminations.

Sens. Jones and Cotton released the following statement:

“We are very pleased that the Administration will implement our suggestion to use prepaid debit cards to make coronavirus relief payments to eligible Americans. Using debit cards instead of paper checks will be a faster, safer way to distribute payments for struggling American families trying to social distance, pay the bills, and navigate life during this pandemic.”

Senators Jones and Cotton wrote to Secretary Mnuchin earlier this month requesting that the Treasury Department expedite the CARES Act direct assistance payments by making them available on debit cards for certain eligible groups of Americans.

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