Despite the support of more than 80 members of Congress for a fourth check – even a fifth – there is no formal bill in Congress to push for an additional direct payment to families.
Nor is there an endorsement from Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader. Both are focused on President Joe Biden’s economic blueprint for infrastructure, jobs and families, including the possibility of passing immigration reform.
Public discussion of a possible payment similar to the $1,400 provided by the American Recovery Plan (ARP) has been ongoing since March, but the White House has been reluctant to support new aid.
Speaker Jen Psaki was clear in April that it would depend on a proposal from members of Congress, but warned that such stimulus checks “are not free,” a reference to their high cost to the treasury, in addition to the legislative conflict they represent.
There is a letter issued on May 17 by members of the House Ways and Means Committee, but without the endorsement of House Chairman Richard Neal (Mass.) or any other ranking member, asking Biden to support more aid.
Jimmy Gomez – and signed by six others – promotes the extension of the unemployment insurance bonus, which ends in September, as well as a fourth and fifth stimulus check, arguing that it will help lift 28 million people out of poverty.
“The $1,400 ARP checks will keep 11 million people out of poverty this year, and the UI (unemployment bonus) expansion and other provisions in the bill will account for the other five million,” the missive advocates. “A fourth and fifth check could keep another 12 million out of poverty.”
It adds that combined with the effects of the ARP, direct payments could reduce the number of people in poverty in 2021 from 44 million to 16 million.
Although prior to the passage of the ARP, economists and financial analysts supported the delivery of a third stimulus check, they are now focusing on the boost to the economy that would come from the implementation of President Biden’s economic plan, who even had to reduce his American Jobs Plan to $1.7 trillion in order to bring Republicans on board.
“I think it’s unlikely at this point,” Raymond James analyst Ed Mills told CNBC about a fourth stimulus check.
The expert insisted that the Biden Administration is focused on the infrastructure plan that would help create higher-paying jobs in more than 100 professions.
Other experts even point out that the most vulnerable communities, such as Latinos, could be among the most benefited by the proposal that aims to rebuild roads, bridges and airports.
The situation for congressmen pushing for a new stimulus check is complicated as the IRS continues to distribute ARP funds and in July will begin to send out the monthly Child Tax Credit, which will give families $250 or $300 per child, depending on age.
In addition, pressure from employers to hire has pushed President Biden to threaten to cancel the unemployment insurance bonus, indicating an unfeasible stance on a fourth round of payments.
Nor did President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders make clear the viability of a stimulus check, as Republicans Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Senate Minority Leader, and Kevin McCarthy (California), House Minority Leader, are more focused on avoiding a corporate and top-earning tax increase.
The advancement of vaccines, the relaxation of the use of masks and the reopening of businesses also complicate the scenario for additional direct aid to Americans.