If elected to the U.S. Senate, Republican candidate Lauren Witzke, who's challenging Senator Chris Coons (D), wants to put $1,200 checks monthly into the hands of Americans until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
"My question about all this is why the Republicans and Democrats in Congress argue over trillion-dollar packages while Americans are suffering?" she asked. "Why not put that money directly into the hands of Americans so we can use it?"
Amid the constant quibbling on Capitol Hill over a second stimulus package, Witzke said, if elected, she's confident she could get her COVID-19 economic response plan passed because she's not beholden to special interests.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a deadline of Tuesday for negotiations on a possible second stimulus package in order to pass a bill before the election on November 3, according to ABC's This Week, CBS News reported.
But Witzke said while they plan to spend trillions, her plan would cost only $250 billion, and the monthly payments directly to Americans would not be taxed; she said the payments would come on top of any amount of unemployment a person was receiving.
"It should go until we don't have to wear a mask inside; it should go until things return completely to normal because even wearing masks, it keeps people out of restaurants, it keeps people out of stores; people are still afraid to go to the store," she said.
She calls what most Americans have received from the federal government thus far -- a one-time $1,200 check -- woefully insufficient.
"Absolutely not. We received that a few months ago, and rent is due at the beginning of very month; winter is coming, and people can't afford to turn their heat on. Twelve hundred dollars, one time, was not enough," she said. "They passed a multi-trillion dollar package, and I want to know where all that went. A lot of that money did not trickle back to the American people. Average, ordinary Americans were not taken care of by that previous stimulus package."
Witzke's proposed COVID-19 economic recovery plan also includes giving Americans access to half of the balance of their 401K retirement plan without penalties.
"Say they want to start a small business, say they want to save their current business--that money is theirs anyway, and they should be able to have access to it with no penalty," she said. "Say they just have bills to pay, and they need that money now, they can have access to it. But the idea of it is for them to reinvest that money back into the community and start their own small business; however, they will be able to have access to it for whatever reason they choose."
Witzke said she was disappointed by the federal response, or lack thereof, to the pandemic, but said a national lockdown wasn't ever going to be the solution. She said "excessive lockdowns" in various states, like Delaware, have become political and have had epic ramifications on small businesses and have also taken a toll on Americans' mental health.
"Big businesses like Walmart and Amazon thrived, I mean racking in billions and billions of dollars; we've got to protect our small businesses, and they were absolutely neglected; they were absolutely left behind, and they were the ones that paid the highest price," she said. "Our suicide rates are skyrocketing; our overdose rates are skyrocketing; they have isolated our communities...children are struggling because they are not able to go to school so I am very disappointed in our current political class for keeping American shutdown to the point that it has desecrated our mental health."
"I just want to take care of the people. I'm seeing the average, ordinary American struggle. I'm seeing small businesses shut down that will never reopen again, and I'm seeing families that can't afford to feed their children, and that concerns me," Witzke said.