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Fourth stimulus check: who is in favor of its approval?

Over 70 Democratic lawmakers now support sending a fourth stimulus check but how and when that check could be sent is still unknown.

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Fourth stimulus check: who is in favor of its approval?
JONATHAN ERNST REUTERS

Consensus among Washington Democrats may be shifting towards support for the payment of a fourth stimulus check.

Support in the House

Support from members of the House of Representatives has been steady throughout the pandemic. In January, Ilhan Omar led an effort with support from over 50 House Democrats calling on President Biden to advocate for recurring payments stating, “A one-time payment of $2,000 is simply not enough. The American people are counting on us to deliver transformative change, and we need to meet the moment by delivering monthly payments of $2,000.”

The full list of House Democrats who joined Ilhan Omar in urging President Biden to back recurring stimulus checks.

Additionally, two other Democratic Representatives, Pramila Jayapal and Rashida Tlaib, reintroduced the BOOST to Communities Act, which would provide a fourth direct payment of $2,000, followed by monthly payments of $1,000 until the pandemic ends. This proposal has been co-sponsored by Representatives Chuy Garcia, Hastings, Norton, Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, Watson Coleman, Bush, and Bowman.

Most political analysts see the prospect of recurring payments as unlikely, but there is mounting speculation that when President Biden announces the details of the American Families Plan (AFP), the proposal may include funding for a one-time fourth direct payment. The AFP is the third piece of legislation to be released under President Biden’s Build Back Better economic agenda, and some are reporting that the announcement could come as soon as next week.

Growing support in the Senate

President Biden is also facing mounting pressure from Senate Democrats to include a fourth stimulus check within his Build Back Better agenda. In a letter signed by twenty-one Senators from fifteen states, Senate Democrats urged Biden to consider the inclusion of “recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions” in his new proposal.

The letter also spoke to the financial hardships many households in the US are facing stating, “almost six in ten people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months.”

Where does the President stand on sending a fourth payment?

President Biden has not made public comments in support or opposition to sending a fourth round of direct payments. The President’s opinion will be made more explicit in the coming weeks as he unveils the American Families Plan and negotiations begin on the remaining legislative components of the Build Back Better economic agenda.

President Biden has stated that he is eager to negotiate with Republicans on his economic plans to avoid using budget reconciliation to enact the trillion-dollar proposals. However, garnering Republican support on the American Jobs Plan, which was introduced earlier this month, has not been easy for the administration. The forthcoming American Families Plan could include policies that Democrats campaigned on, like tuition free college and extending the enhanced child tax credit beyond 2021, that Republicans oppose, which could make gaining impossible.

If the administration chooses to use budget reconciliation in the Senate to pass the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, only a simple majority is needed. If this path is taken, the likelihood of more progressive proposals being adopted increases so long as Senate leaders can hold onto the votes from more conservative Democratic members.