Fourth stimulus check: which entities are pushing for a new payment?
It has been over four months since the American Rescue Plan was passed and lawmakers, individuals and research groups are extolling the virtues of the direct payments.
Lawmakers in Washington are continuing to discuss the fate of President Biden’s huge infrastructure proposal but there is one glaring omission from the legislation.
Biden is showing no sign of considering including a fourth stimulus check in the multi-trillion package, opting to favour less direct forms of financial stimulus. However many in Congress and across the United States would like to see another stimulus check and they will retain hope of convincing Biden of the merits.
Lawmakers sign letter in support of recurring stimulus checks
Earlier this year a group of 21 Democrats in the Senate signed a letter addressed to the White House urging Biden to consider including recurring stimulus check payments in any future relief legislation. The senators wrote: "Almost 6 in 10 people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months.”
More than four months has now passed since the first of the $1,400 was sent out and some are already concerned that more support is needed. Last month Gov. Gavin Newsom signed California’s new state budget into law, triggering a round of $600 stimulus checks which will cover around two-thirds of Californians.
Great news: We've had a 45% drop in poverty.— Robert Reich (@RBReich) July 28, 2021
Not great news: The 3 programs that cut poverty most — stimulus checks, increased food stamps, and expanded unemployment insurance — have ended or will soon revert to their pre-pandemic size.
Lesson: Poverty is a political choice.
Stimulus check petition continues to draw support
The prospect of further stimulus checks is a tantalising one for many Americans and there have been many concerted efforts to persuade lawmakers to push for another round of payments. Perhaps the most successful has been a Change.org petition which calls for recurring $2,000 payments for the duration of the pandemic.
At the time of writing more than 2.7 million signature had been added to the petition and it continues to gain around 50,000 new names every week. The petition’s author, Stephanie Bonin, wrote that the delays which have hampered stimulus check negotiations in the past should not be allowed to be repeated:
“Moving forward Congress needs to make recurring checks automatic if certain triggers are met. No more waiting around for our government to send the help we need.”
The one government program cut poverty more than any other this year: stimulus checks.— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) July 31, 2021
Approximately 12.4 million more Americans would be living in poverty right now without the full array of government intervention. https://t.co/VqS2yWityj
These calls appear to be backed up by a study from the Urban Institute which found that stimulus checks were the most powerful way to combat poverty during the pandemic. They found that roughly 12.4 million more Americans would have experienced poverty during the pandemic if not for the three rounds of stimulus checks distributed in the last 16 months.
Elaine Waxman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, said that the stimulus checks had shown “the power of cash to reduce poverty,” adding that their flexibility meant that they were ““available to broadly cover the needs of the household.”
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