Although the number of unemployed workers applying for benefits has decreased in March, the numbers remain high and a group of lawmakers has asked the president to include a fourth stimulus check in the stimulus package.
As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finishes sending out the third batch of stimulus checks, the question remains whether there will be a fourth direct payment. The likelihood of Congress approving a new stimulus check in May is very low, but that does not mean that more direct deposits are out of the question.
The White House economic program still contemplates a third phase called Bread for American Families. So far no details have been made public, but its goal is to enable families to make ends meet, which could become a new opportunity to send an economic deposit to families across the country.
Another factor complicating the possibility of a fourth check is opposition from Republicans in the Senate. Although the President has commented that he prefers to negotiate with the Republicans and win their votes, if he is unable to convince them, the budget reconciliation technique, which only requires fifty votes, could be his only option.
Reasons to request a fourth stimulus check.
Since March 2020, millions of people in the United States have received three direct payments from the federal government to help stabilize the economy during the pandemic.
However, in early April the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of unemployed workers claiming benefits continued to decline in March, but cautioned that the numbers remain high. A total of 9.7 million unemployed workers applied for benefits, down from a record 23.1 million in April 2020.
With the national unemployment rate still high it is similar to pre-pandemic levels and workers continue to see their hours cut so some lawmakers are pushing for a fourth stimulus check.
Related: ‘Plus-up’ checks start arriving as some wonder if there will be a fourth stimulus check
Who is pushing for the fourth stimulus check?
In March House Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Rashida Tlaib introduced the Boosting Communities Act as the pandemic began. The Automatic Boost for Communities (ABC) Act was intended to provide a fourth stimulus payment of $2,000, followed by monthly payments of $1,000 until the pandemic ends.
While in the Senate about 21 lawmakers have expressed to President Joe Biden a desire to continue the direct payments. They signed a letter calling for “recurring payments” in addition to automatic extensions of unemployment insurance.
The senators argued that these measures have proven to keep households and the economy as a whole afloat and have broad public support.