Coronavirus

Second stimulus check: what do Americans think of a second round of payments?

The majority of Americans support the idea of receiving a universal basic income during the rest of the year to help them through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Second stimulus check: what do Americans think of a second round of payments?
PETER FOLEY EFE

More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic sent the country into lockdown back in mid-March. Those people have been relying on the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits and on the first stimulus payment worth up to $1,200 per adult and the extra $500 they receive per dependent child under 17 up to three children.

The extra money people have been getting from unemployment is set to expire at the end of July and, at the same time, millions of Americans are supportive of a second round of stimulus checks to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.

Democrats appear to be listening as, according to a survey from WalletHub, 84% of the people want another check to help them financially through the Covid-19 pandemic. The HEROES Act, which the Dems passed in the House of Representatives provides for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, but the Act is yet to even be debated in the Republican-controlled senate.

Harris keen on more stimulus checks during coronavirus pandemic

Senator Kamala Harris, a former presidential candidate, spoke on Monday saying that she supports the creation of a universal basic income to help Americans financially amid the outbreak. Other Senators, including Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, are also supporting the bill proposed in May of giving $2,000 per month to those individuals making under $120,000, plus $2,000 per child for up to three children.

The Democrats believe that the one-time $1,200 checks sent out by the government as part of the CARES Act signed by President Donald Trump back in March, is not enough. A petition with Change.org has collected 1.2 million signatures supporting the idea of receiving a universal basic income through the reminder of the year.

“We need a strong federal response, but using up a lot of those federal dollars on sending $2,000 a month checks to people who do not really need it would not be an effective use of federal intervention,” said Shai Akabas of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

A decision needs to be made as soon as possible because, according to Bankrate in early April, after just weeks of states shutting down the economy, 31% of Americans said the first round of stimulus checks will last them only a week. Also in Wallethub's survey 160 million Americans are less than three months away from running out of money.