- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said he is eager to offer resources to President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin who signaled support Tuesday for the idea of a stimulus check to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The signature policy of Yang’s bid for the Democratic nomination was a universal basic income in the form of monthly $1,000 checks to all U.S. citizens 18 or older, which he branded the “freedom dividend.”

“I’m pleased to see the White House adopt our vision of putting money directly into the hands of hard-working Americans,” Mr. Yang said in a statement posted to Twitter. “It’s unfortunate to see this development take place under the current circumstances, but this is exactly what Universal Basic Income is designed to do — offer a way to ensure that Americans can make ends meet when they need it most.”

Mr. Yang added that his team has been in touch with the White House about the proposal and “are offering resources.”

At a press conference Tuesday, Mr. Mnuchin said the administration wants to send checks to Americans within the next two weeks. Some reports said the administration wants the checks to be larger than $1,000.

“Although the president likes the idea of a payroll tax holiday … we’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately,” the Treasury secretary said.

The stimulus is designed to help Americans cope with the economic disruption brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. and around the world. The idea has been floated by major figures, notably Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, in recent days. 

Mr. Yang, an entrepreneur now working as a CNN analyst, suspended his Democratic presidential campaign after the New Hampshire primary and later endorsed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden. 

“I look forward to monitoring the developments of the White House as they consider methods of distribution, and both me and my team are eager to offer our support to ensure this process runs as smoothly as possible,” Mr. Yang wrote.

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