What’s Behind the Push for a Fourth Stimulus Check?

0
117
What's Behind the Push for a Fourth Stimulus Check?

Why the Fourth Stimulus Check?

The IRS has issued more than 169 million payments in the third round of direct stimulus aid, with more than 2 million people in July receiving the $1,400 checks.

But some lawmakers are pushing for the fourth round of stimulus aid that would effectively send recurring payments until the pandemic ends.

Advertisement

A relief package from December and President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, authorized in March, have each compensated qualifying individuals $3,200.

Despite that financial assistance, millions of Americans remain in financial distress, and the spread of the Delta variant is creating new economic headwinds.

According to a recent Census study conducted in late August, about one-quarter of Americans struggled to pay their bills the previous week.

The IRS has issued more than 169 million payments in the third round of direct stimulus aid, with more than 2 million people in July receiving the $1,400 checks.

But some lawmakers are pushing for the fourth round of stimulus aid that would effectively send recurring payments until the pandemic ends.

So far, the government response to the coronavirus pandemic has paid out $3,200: $600 from a December aid package; and $1,400 from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan approved in March.

Americans Still in Financial Distress Despite Stimulus Check

Despite that financial assistance, millions of Americans remain in financial distress, and the spread of the Delta variant is creating new economic headwinds.

Almost one-quarter of Americans struggled to pay their household expenses in the previous week, according to new Census survey data that polled people during the last two weeks of August.

Some lawmakers have picked up the idea. Twenty-one senators — all Democrats — signed a March 30 letter to Mr. Biden in support of recurring stimulus payments, pointing out that the $1,400 payment is distributed by the IRS won’t tide people over for long.

“Almost 6 in 10 people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months,” the senators wrote in the letter.

Meanwhile, some states are creating their own form of stimulus checks. About two-thirds of California residents are likely to qualify for a “Golden State Stimulus” check via a new effort from Governor Gavin Newsom.

That effort will provide $600 for low- and middle-income residents who have filed their 2020 tax returns.

Florida and parts of Texas have authorized bonuses for teachers to help offset the impact of the pandemic.

In a second move in January, Democratic legislators advocated for $2,000 monthly handouts until the epidemic ended.

Instead, the American Rescue Plan authorized $1,400 for each eligible adult and dependent.