Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are continuing to find themselves out of work more than six months into the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced 870,000 Americans filed initial claims for unemployment during a seven-day period ending Sept. 19.
This adds to the millions who have requested financial assistance since nationwide lockdowns were implemented in March, and while the Trump Administration initially approved a single round of stimulus checks after the outbreak began, those funds have since come and gone for many who received them.
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban — who also stars in the hit ABC show, Shark Tank — proposed a plan that would have the government approve a package that sends $1,000 checks to every American household, no matter their income bracket.
"Those without [help] are struggling badly," the 62-year-old owner of the Dallas Mavericks told CNBC. "We need to get them help."
But Cuban's plan does not come without caveats — he says everyone who receives a check would need to spend it within 10 days or risk losing it. Doing so would help promote spending and place the cash in the hands of businesses who may desperately need it, he told the outlet.
"I don’t care what they spend it on," Cuban explained earlier this year when discussing the plan with KNX 1070. "It could be candy, it could be rent, it could be their mortgage, it could be anything they deem necessary or that they want."
"The whole goal is to get that money every two weeks into the economy," he added to CNBC. "Once businesses start having demand, even if they’re closed and working online, then there is a reason for them to be able to bring back employees and retain those employees if demand is sustained."
According to Forbes, House Democrats are planning to present a smaller stimulus relief package next week if they can't reach a compromise with Republicans before then. The package would spend about $2.4 billion, down from a $3.4 billion package passed a few months ago.
As of late September, weekly unemployment claims are still about four times higher than they were before the lockdown went into effect, CNN Business reported.
While some on social media were wary of Cuban's proposal, many seemed to like the idea — if only for it being an actual plan.
"Let’s be honest, anything would help," wrote one Twitter user. "Not [everyone] is going to run to the mall and buy new stuff."
"People are really struggling out here due to the Pandemic," they continued. "It’s not an illusion or [a] joke."
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