East County Today: Rep. Omar Introduces Guaranteed Income Bill and GDP Alternative Legislation

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced the Sending Unconditional Payments to People Overcoming Resistances to Triumph (SUPPORT) Act and the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Act, legislation designed to build a 21st century economy that is reflective of Americans’ everyday needs. The bills will create a grant program to fund local income pilots and implement a national guaranteed income program and establish a new economic metric to measure well-being.
The Sending Unconditional Payments to People Overcoming Resistances to Triumph (SUPPORT) Act will create a guaranteed income program of up to $1,200 per month for adults, and $600 for kids, following pilot programs in localities nationwide. The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Act will provide an alternative economic metric to supplement GDP calculations and revamp our economic policy lenses by including overlooked socioeconomic and environmental costs and benefits of economic productivity.
“Poverty is a choice. For too long we have prioritized endless growth while millions are homeless, hungry or without healthcare” said Rep. Omar. “The pandemic has laid bare these inequalities. We as a nation have the ability to make sure everyone has their basic needs like food, housing and healthcare met. Building off successful pilot programs in my home state of Minnesota, I am proud to introduce a guaranteed income that will put money directly into the pockets of Minnesotans, and introduce a holistic economic measure that will ensure our economy is centered on the long-term prosperity of Minnesotans and Americans everywhere. The world needs new economic indicators and economic policies that will prioritize and encourage truly sustainable and equitable growth. It’s time we become the leader in measuring and safeguarding our people’s economic well-being, starting with both of these bills.”
“Even during the better economic times that came before the Covid pandemic and recession, many Americans were struggling to avoid hunger or homelessness – in the wealthiest country on the planet,” said Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA). “Both of these bills would help us to Build Back Better! I also continue to advocate for other fairness measures like the Raise the Wage Act.”
“It’s crucial that we assess the economy based on how it serves working people, instead of on the profits of the largest corporations,” said Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL). “I am proud to cosponsor the GPI Act & SUPPORT Act to ensure that we are accounting for economic justice in policymaking, and to provide crucial cash assistance to tackle the country’s gross income divide. A strong economy does not just work for the wealthy and well-connected, it should work for everyone. I am thrilled to support legislation designed to do just that. “
“We need a paradigm shift in how we measure and evaluate our economy,” said Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). “If my district, New York’s 16th, was a country, it would have the 8th worst inequality in the world. Our barometers for economic success as well as our policies must be centered around meeting basic levels of care and dignity for all of our people. That is why I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of Rep. Omar’s GPI Act and SUPPORT Act.”
“Poverty is defined by a lack of material resources,” said Darrick Hamilton, Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at the New School. “And we know the way to address poverty is to eliminate it. I am thrilled that Rep. Omar is introducing a bold proposal to fully tackle poverty in this country and ensure that people have their basic material needs met, modeled after proposals like ‘A Guaranteed Income for the 21st Century’ and others. This proposal would amount to a $14,400 income guarantee for adults and $7,200 for children, amounting to $43,200 for an average family of four. If we are going to tackle poverty and inequality in this country, we need bold solutions. And Rep. Omar has proposed just that.”
“We applaud Representative Omar’s leadership on this long overdue reform of how this nation measures economic progress and enthusiastically support the GPI Act of 2021,” said John Talberth, Founder of the Center for Sustainable Economy. “What’s measured matters, and for too long the US has been measuring economic performance in a way that masks the staggering costs of inequality, crumbling infrastructure, deteriorating health, vanishing ecosystems and rapid climate change. We’ve been pursuing growth for its own sake without asking ‘growth in what, for whom, and at what cost?’ Instead of registering all growth as positive, the GPI can help identify what sectors need to grow to bring quality of life improvements for all and what sectors need to shrink or be replaced because the toll they exact on the rest of the economy is far too great.”
The GPI Act is cosponsored by Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Dwight Evans, Pramila Jayapal, and Marie Newman. The bill is endorsed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON).
The SUPPORT Act is cosponsored by Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Dwight Evans, and Pramila Jayapal.The bill is endorsed by Economic Security Project, Jain Family Institute, National Coalition for the Homeless, and People’s Policy Project.
Both bills are endorsed by the African Career Education & Resource, Inc., African Development Center, Black Women’s Wealth Alliance, Center for Popular Democracy, Center for Sustainable Economy, Children’s Defense Fund MN, Church World Service, Color of Change, Communities Organizing Power and Action for Latinxs (COPAL) MN, Demos, Equity and Transformation Chicago, FoodFarmsDemocracy.net, Friends of the Earth, Human Rights Watch, Institute for the Redemption of Money, Minnesota Young DFL, Our Revolution, Our Revolution-Twin Cities, Pax Christi USA, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Action Fund, Strong Economy For All Coalition, The Institute on Race and Political Economy, The Monarch Foundation, Universal Income Project, and Virginia Excels.
  • You can find a detailed one pager on the GPI Act here.
  • You can find a detailed one pager on the SUPPORT Act here.