Americans could see a fourth stimulus check
Some lawmakers are making arguments for recurring stimulus payments to last the duration of the pandemic
According to CBS News, on March 30, Twenty-one Democratic senators, including Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, signed a letter supporting President Joe Biden’s recurring stimulus payment package.
Despite the $1,200 subsidy afforded by the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020, the $600 of further aid allocated in a December relief measure, and the latest installment of $1,400 payments under the American Rescue Plan signed in March by President Biden, a significant population of Americans remain in a state of financial hardship.
“While we are pleased that the American Rescue Plan included a one-time direct payment and an extension of federal unemployment insurance programs, a single direct payment will not last long for most families, and we are worried about the cliff facing unemployed workers when the unemployment insurance extensions expire on September 6,” the senators wrote in the letter.
The letter also mentioned the fact that more than 150 economists supported the idea and wrote an open letter of their own. They suggested that in order to have a strong recovery, “automatic stabilizers” are necessary for the country and its people. They warned the government to not repeat the mistakes of the Gret Recession, a time of unnecessary suffering among low-income workers due to insufficient response.
“Right now, most Americans are just trying to keep their heads above water. The first round of economic impact payments was a lifeline that helped some get by for a few weeks – early research shows that people are spending the stimulus checks quickly and on essentials – but the worst is not over,” read the economists’ report.
CBS cites a recent survey by financial services firm TransUnion revealing that nearly 4 in 10 Americans report that their incomes maintain rates lower than those prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
A study by economist Eliza Forsythe shows that only 4 in 10 out of work Americans actually received unemployment aid, as many believed they were ineligible or gave up trying after long waits and other bureaucratic impediments.
“You’ll see reports about how the economy is starting to grow, but there are a lot of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, and for a lot of them the government relief programs haven’t been able to help,” said Greg Nasif, political director of Humanity Forward, a nonprofit also campaigning for stimulus payments.
Though the senators don’t specify the amount they’re seeking in the letter, CBS references a similar effort from Democratic lawmakers in January, which suggested $2,000 monthly checks until the end of the pandemic.
While the Biden administration centers its attention on the President’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, Ed Mills, Wall Street analyst for investment banking firm Raymond James, said to CBS “I think it’s unlikely at this time.”
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