Stimulus check update: The hope of a fourth stimulus check is still alive
Stimulus check update: The hope of a fourth stimulus check is still alive

Stimulus check update: The hope of a fourth stimulus check is still alive

Is a fourth stimulus check in our future? Could we see even more direct stimulus payments after that? While the odds are certainly against it, Democratic lawmakers in Congress continue to ask President Biden to include additional stimulus check payments in his Build Back Better plan.

As recently as May 17, six Democratic members of the influential House Ways and Means Committee sent one letter to Biden, who urged him to prioritize “recurring direct payments related to financial matters.” That letter brings the number of Democratic lawmakers who have signed letters to the president asking for regular stimulus checks until the economy recovers to 80. And because there are still people on Capitol Hill pushing for more direct payments, the idea of ​​a fourth stimulus check (and possibly more) is not dead yet.

Legislators’ arguments for further stimulus checks are quite consistent. For example, they all say that direct payments are needed to keep millions of ordinary Americans out of poverty. But they also claim that stimulus checks are an effective form of financial relief because they increase spending at all income levels. As for the need for regular stimulus checks until the pandemic is completely behind us, they say Americans “deserve to know that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads” and “should not be at the mercy of constantly changing legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions. “

Not surprisingly, the idea of ​​multiple stimulus checks is also popular with the public. A vote from Data for progress as often quoted by Democrats who support recurring payments, found that 65% of voters – including 54% of Republicans – support a monthly payment of $ 2,000 for every American until the pandemic is over. There is also an online signature collection on Change.org calls for monthly $ 2,000 checks per May 23 has been signed by over 2.2 million Americans. Also according to a POLITICO-Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health poll, most American adults do not believe in the US rescue plan, which approved third round of stimulus checks and other benefits will help them a lot. These sentiments are helping to drive public support for additional stimulus payments.

But there are still difficult questions to be answered before legislation is passed that allows for more direct payments. So far, there has been little discussion about how big a fourth stimulus check should be, or how much people would get each month if recurring payments were passed. Democratic lawmakers have also not said who would qualify for additional stimulus payments. Before the $ 1,400 stimulus checks in the third round were approved, there was a controversial debate over how “targeted” the direct payments should be. Even some Democrats, such as Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), fought to limit payments only to those most in need. As a result, a more aggressive “phasing out rate” was adopted for stimulus checks in the third round.

Republican opposition to further stimulus control

Do not expect Republicans to be behind another round of stimulus checks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Says he does not believe a fourth round of direct payments is necessary. The economy is starting to recover and jobs are returning. Republicans say they do not want to slow the economic recovery with additional federal debt and more public spending that could trigger a sharp rise in inflation. That Boston Herald also reported that over 1.2 million stimulus checks in the first round were either rejected, repaid or were not redeemed. Expect Republicans to use this information to support their argument that another round of stimulus payments is not necessary if so many payments were not even used (even though the IRS issued more than 160 million first-round stimulus checks in total).

If a fourth round of stimulus checks is approved, it will likely happen in the same way that third round payments were passed – without any Republican votes. While some Republican lawmakers have previously supported stimulus checks, they appear to be united against the kind of big and expensive plans that a stimulus check proposal would likely be part of, such as the President’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. This means that Democrats are likely to have to use the reconciliation process again if they want more stimulus payments. (Reconciliation is a procedural measure to allow a bill to be passed in the Senate by a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster.)

Does Biden want a fourth stimulus check?

President Biden has not said in one way or another whether he supports a fourth stimulus check or recurring stimulus payments. But earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if there would be a new round of stimulus checks in any future legislation. Her response: “We want to see what members of Congress are proposing, but they are not free.” While this comment indicates some degree of openness to the idea, the recognition that stimulus checks may be too expensive certainly does not provide much comfort to proponents of additional payments.

The president’s actions also do not seem to indicate a strong level of support for multiple stimulus checks. Biden has released two major financial plans since the US rescue plan was adopted – the US job plan and the US family plan – and neither of them included another round of stimulus checks. Instead, these plans focus on creating jobs, rebuilding infrastructure and tax breaks for ordinary American families. That does not mean that President Biden would oppose another round of stimulus checks if it were included in a bill that reached his desk, but a proposal for more direct payments would probably have been in one of his latest plans if he really wanted a fourth. stimulus check.

How likely is a fourth stimulus check?

Although the hope of a fourth stimulus check is technically still alive, the chances of a new round of stimulus payments are slim. Recurring payments related to financial circumstances are even more unlikely. Yes, there is some support in Congress for further direct payments. But it is important to note that not all Democrats can count on standing behind yet another expensive round of stimulus checks. For example, no one on Capitol Hill would be particularly surprised if Senator Manchin objected to more stimulus payments.

Plus, even though President Biden has not said “no” to more stimulus checks, he seems much more interested in extending the temporary improvements to child tax deduction, tax deduction for childcare, and income tax deductions that were part of the U.S. rescue plan. With the economy improving and Republicans pushing to keep the cost of any future legislation down, it just does not look like the president wants to spend political capital on stimulus checks.

The president’s plans are, of course, just a starting point for further legislation. When the process of creating and voting on bills begins, new proposals will be added and certain items on Biden’s wish list will be cut. This is just how sausage making works. So anything is possible … but it still does not make a fourth stimulus check or recurring payments likely.


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