Fourth Stimulus check

Who is opposed to a fourth stimulus check?

As consensus around more direct payments grows in the Democratic caucus, Republican opposition to more stimulus checks remains.

0
Who is opposed to a fourth stimulus check?
BRIAN SNYDER REUTERS

More than 70 Democratic lawmakers have made their support for more direct payments public since January. With various efforts gaining traction in the House and prominent Senate Democrats sending a letter to President Biden urging him to consider the matter, the discussion on a fourth stimulus check is back on the table.

Where may a fourth check be included?

Some political analysts believe that President Biden may include a fourth round of stimulus checks in the American Families Plan (AFP) which has yet to be released. The AFP follows the American Rescue Plan and the American Jobs Plan as the third piece of legislation included under President Biden’s Build Back Better economic agenda.

The American Families plan is expected to contain many priorities Democrats campaigned on in 2020 including, funding to increase access to affordable child care, tuition free community college, paid family and medical leave, and free preschool for three and four-year-olds.

Republican opposition

Republicans provided insight into their willingness to negotiate with the president on 22 April, when they countered the American Jobs Plan, valued at around $2.3 trillion, with a proposal less than a quarter of the size. If their response to the American Jobs Plan indicates where the caucus stands on increased spending, it is unlikely the party would support an additional round of stimulus payments.

Republican opposition to increases in spending to prevent increasing the national debt have resurfaced as Biden has released his proposals. However, Democrats have quickly called out the hypocrisy in this argument as many Republican lawmakers were silent when during the Trump administration the national debt increased by more than a third to $27 trillion.

Where does the discussion stand?

Before the political feasibility of sending a fourth stimulus check can be determined, there is one person we have yet to hear from, the President. President Biden has not yet made any public statement in support or opposition to sending a fourth round of direct payments. Lawmakers may need to wait until the President releases the American Families Plan to confirm where he stands on the issue.

Both Democrats and Republicans have paid lip service to debate and negotiation on the plans put forward by the administration. Talks on both of the remaining pieces of the Build Back Better agenda will begin in the coming weeks, and until either party walks away from negotiating table there is a chance Democrats could trade another stimulus check for a Republican priority.

If negotiations do not lead to consensus between the parties, the Biden administration and Senate Democrats can pass their proposed legislation through a process known as budget reconciliation. Budget reconciliation, allows bills to pass with a simple majority rather than the sixty votes needed because of the Senate filibuster. Democrats may be weary of this option because there are only a certain number of bills that can be passed using this parliamentary tool and the American Rescue Plan was already passed through this mechanism.