Will be there more stimulus checks after the third payment?
With the US economy still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic there are calls to make the stimulus checks recurring until the end of the pandemic.
Over 50 progressive House Democrats urged President Biden to prioritize recurring stimulus checks instead of one-time payments in his coronavirus relief package. The American Rescue Plan that Biden presented before his inauguration called for an additional $1400 direct payment to Americans to top up the $600 Economic Impact Payments authorized in December.
The push is led by Representative Ilhan Omar, and was joined by 53 other House progressives including Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pramila Jayapal and Rashida Tlaib. In a letter to the Biden administration on Thursday they call for sending recurring regular checks through the end of the covid-19 pandemic to help struggling Americans pay for basic necessities. In the letter they state that the temporary lifeline provided by the one-time payments does not provide stability and that “To truly build back better, they cannot be at the mercy of Congressional gridlock.”
Recurring payments prioritized those who need it most
The letter first reported by Politico does not specify an amount for the proposed recurring direct payments. However several of the House progressives have pushed for monthly $2000 direct payments instead of the one-off $1400 payments called for in Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan. The proposal is overwhelmingly popular with the public across political beliefs with nearly two-thirds support.
The letter calls for the payments to go to those who need the payments most and will spend the money the quickest. They also want to include “all immigrant workers, refugees, and their families” in the recurring payment initiative who pay taxes but were left out of the two previous rounds. That along with other groups that were left out in the CARES Act but later included in the December relief bill such as older dependents including the disabled and elderly, as well as children 17 and older.
They call on states and local governments to improve outreach and communication to “ensure families are aware of payments.” As well they ask the IRS to make sure that eligible households and individuals left behind in previous rounds get the payments and are made aware of them, in addition to improving administration of the payments.
The odds for additional stimulus payments
Currently the Congress and the White House are working to draft the next stimulus package based on Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal the American Rescue Plan. The plan calls for extending $400 weekly unemployment benefits through September and increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Also included are expanded tax credits for children and money for reopening schools and more funds for state and local governments.
The expected timeframe to push the final package through Congress is set for mid-March. However the Republicans have shown opposition to what they see as a spending spree calling it a liberal wish list. The Democrats are looking to move the legislation through quickly with calls to use reconciliation in the event bipartisan negotiations fall through. Reconciliation can be used on budgetary bills to pass them with a simple majority in the Senate, avoiding a filibuster which would put the minimum threshold at 60 votes.
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