In a briefing Tuesday, the White House press secretary questioned the possibility of more immediate payments, telling reporters it was up to Congress to make the decision, but another round of scrutiny would be expensive.
Asked about the possibility of a fourth stimulus check, Psaki replied that the Biden administration would “see what members of Congress propose” but “which are not free”.
President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill in March that, among other emergency measures, sent $1,400 checks to millions of Americans and was paid almost entirely by new debt.
Since then, the economy has only picked up steam, with US household income rising 21% in March.
In recent weeks, the White House has focused on securing support for a $2 trillion infrastructure bill known as the American Jobs Plan and a $1.8 trillion childcare and education package called the American Families Plan.
The roughly $4 trillion in new spending would be offset by tax hikes for the wealthy and a corporate rate hike from 21% to 28%, among other tax increases.
What to watch out for
While Biden’s new plans don’t include stimulus checks, other forms of direct payments are included in the American Families Plan, such as an extension of the expanded child tax credit — part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that Biden signed in March.
Biden has made a point of praising his administration’s work by sending another round of direct payments to Americans. “We’ve already sent out more than 160 million checks,” Biden said during his joint session of Congress last week. “It makes the difference. For many people it makes all the difference in the world.” During the speech, he also said he wants to extend the child tax credit until 2025. “That will help more than 65 million children and halve childcare poverty,” he said.
Congress has sent three rounds of stimulus payments to Americans since the start of the pandemic. As part of the first major stimulus package passed by Congress in March 2020 as the pandemic began, Congress slashed $1,200 checks for millions of Americans. In December, former President Donald Trump – after much back and forth – signed a $900 billion emergency bill that sent checks for $600. And finally, the US $1.9 bailout — which passed with only Democratic backing — yielded payments of $1,400.
$3,200. That’s the amount Congress has sent every eligible American as an incentive payment since the start of the pandemic. The latest round of $1,400 checks cost Congress about $400 billion.
Here’s What’s In Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan (Forbes)
Biden reveals $1.8 trillion American families today – here’s what’s in it (Forbes)