Press Release - New UBI group launches to lobby Congress
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
For Immediate Release
New Universal Basic Income (UBI) group launched to lobby Congress. The non-profit will also run education & media campaigns and support grassroots efforts at the state-level.
WASHINGTON, DC, May 26, 2020 – A new non profit, UBI Action Network, launched today with the goal of passing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for every American. The group will lobby Congress, organize education and media campaigns, and support grassroots efforts to pass state-level legislation.
Mat Young, the organization’s President & CEO, said that the group was inspired by the presidential campaign of Andrew Yang and the incredible enthusiasm of UBI activists and supporters around the country.
“This is a unique political window of opportunity in American history and it’s time that UBI supporters had a voice working full-time on UBI in Washington,” said Young.
A UBI program would ensure that every American is given a minimum monthly payment to spend on essential needs. The group argues that UBI is now a national security issue in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent congressional decision to provide cash payments directly to the American people. UBI advocates also argue that UBI would: provide additional economic security to the middle class; reduce poverty, especially for children; prepare for future automation risks; and address growing inequality.
Recent polls show the public is mostly split on the concept. However, a majority of younger generations support the concept and the group believes that public opinion is moving in their direction.
Young, a former Hill staffer and accounting lobbyist, said the group would focus on achieving its goals through the federal tax code, arguing for a Universal Basic Benefit (UBB) for children and a UBI for adults. Two bills pending in Congress would create the infrastructure for both their goals.
The American Family Act, by Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Suzan DelBene and Senators Michael Bennet and Sherrod Brown, is a bill which would raise the existing Child Tax Credit to $3,000 ($3,600 for children under 6) and make it fully refundable in monthly installments of $250. Proponents believe the bill could slash child poverty by up to 38%. Young believes the proposal also could provide crucial economic support to the middle class as many families struggle, in the months ahead, to recover from the expected COVID-19 recession. The BOOST Act, a fully refundable tax credit for adults, sponsored by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, would also provide up to $250 a month, but for adults. Both bills phase out for those with higher incomes.
Neither proposal comes close to the $1,000 per month that Andrew Yang had argued for in his presidential campaign. However, the group is taking an incremental approach, supporting smaller payments first. They believe they can push for higher payments later, as the programs are proven and gain public support.
Recently, there have been a number of privately financed UBI experiments such as an Oakland, California program funded by Y Combinator Research, a venture capital affiliated group, and a new effort in upstate New York supported by Andrew Yang’s organization, Humanity Forward. UBI Action Network believes that the results of those pilots will help further make the case for federal legislation.
About UBI Action Network
UBI Action Network is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. We are dedicated to passing legislation to make Universal Basic Income (UBI) available to every American. To achieve our goals, the organization will promote educational and media campaigns about UBI, advocate for legislation in Washington, and support grassroots initiatives at the state-level. In fulfilling our vision, we are committed to building the broadest and most diverse coalition of allies possible and to educating the public and policymakers about how UBI strengthens our families, our economy, and our country.