Third Stimulus Check: Want Another Stimulus Check? Democrats Have a Plan To Make It Happen.
Some Americans received up to $3,200 from the federal government since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as Congress provided financial support amid the economic crisis that left millions of people unemployed or under the poverty threshold.
A group of Democrats, as well as the Economic Security Project, argue, however, that Americans need more assistance to combat the financial toll that has weighed on families in recent months.
The Economic Security Project is calling for recurring stimulus payments until the pandemic is over, even after the Biden administration just sent out $1,400 direct checks to eligible Americans. So far, the Internal Revenue Service has reportedly pumped out about 159 million payments from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan that was approved last month, totaling more than $376 billion.
“Let’s do this again. We are going to make this automatic,” Adam Ruben, the campaign director at the Economic Security Project, said. “We are going to tie this to economic conditions so that people are not at the mercy of stagnation in Washington.”
Before the $1,400 direct payments, eligible Americans received $1,200 under the Cares Act and $600 from the December relief measure. All three payments have helped raise income by 20 percent for the lowest-income households, according to the Economic Security Project’s new report.
A new Fintech Zoom.com survey revealed that many respondents used the most recent round of direct payments to pay off monthly expenses, help fund day-to-day essentials, alleviate a debt burden or boost savings. Many respondents, however, indicated that the federal funds would last less than three months.
“We need at least one more check,” Ruben said.
The Economic Security Project largely pushed for recurring checks to help Americans avoid entering the poverty threshold. A recent report from the group discovered that the $1,400 checks would help keep eleven million people out of poverty this year, and if Congress swiftly passed two more rounds of direct payments, an additional twelve million people would avoid entering poverty.
“Evidence from the last year shows stimulus checks to be the fastest and most impactful investments helping Americans get through the crisis, lifting more people out of poverty than any other single policy,” the report states.
Stimulus checks, alone, have pumped about $850 billion into the economy ever since the first pandemic-related legislation passed.
The report also found that additional direct payments would provide a strong financial ledge to minority individuals and households, groups who have been severely impacted by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
The Economic Security Project’s research revealed that 66 percent of Black and Latinx households have faced uphill battles in paying household expenses primarily between March 17 and March 29, while less than 50 percent of white households have experienced the same struggle.
A group of twenty-one Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), initiated talks of recurring stimulus checks and sent a letter to Biden asking for them to be included in his upcoming $2.25 trillion infrastructure and jobs package.
“This crisis is far from over, and families deserve the certainty that they can put food on the table and keep the roof over their heads,” the senators wrote.
Although Democrats have been able to rally almost half of their caucus in the Senate to stand behind recurring checks, it’s unlikely that the measure would pass, as Biden has been recently pushing for a bipartisan infrastructure package. And to get enough support from Republicans, the bill would have to be targeted to traditional infrastructure spending and omit measures that address social spending.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill