Two million morewere , including to people who were and waiting on “ .” And now, Congress is looking ahead for ways to help struggling Americans by sending out more money between this year and next. One idea that’s surfaced is a fourth stimulus check that would send more checks to those most in need once the are complete.
In March, a group of 10 progressive senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, asked President Joe Biden to include regular stimulus payments (PDF) in his next stimulus bill: “We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan.” A few weeks later, another group of 21 Democrats made a similar request to Biden.
The third stimulus check will help the economy to grow rapidly, yet unevenly, economists say, with some cities projected to hurt for “decades,” even withon the upswing and the US economy showing glimmers of hope. Would more direct payments arrive other than a stimulus check? We spell out some possibilities below. Additionally, here’s and . Also, here’s how to . This story is updated frequently.
The next economic relief bill is in the works. Will it contain a 4th check?
Biden’sthat passed in March is the first spending package in 2021, with , and an expanded lined up ( for the ). The Biden administration is working on a sequel, a package the president refers to as the Build Back Better plan. That proposal aims to invest in the nation’s energy grid, , and water systems and , despite the urging of progressive senators.
(Note: There’s some debate over what counts as a “relief,” “rescue” or “stimulus” package. For purposes of this article, “stimulus” refers to any funding, check or measure in response to the coronavirus pandemic or to inject money into the US economy.)
The new ‘stimulus payment’ could look different
The American Rescue Plan. It contains three types of payment designed to help struggling individuals and families. It’s possible a future bill could extend or introduce more money through direct checks that go to specific groups of recipients, including parents who earn below a certain income or people out of work.
Here are the three types of direct payments approved in the March 2021 bill:
Additional ways Congress could send out direct payments later this year
Approve recurring payments: Biden’s infrastructure bill is the next likely place for Congress to provide more funding. This is where Democratic Senators are calling on Biden to push for recurring stimulus checks during the pandemic.
Pass a minimum wage hike: Some senators continue to look for ways to Sanders tweeted on March 5. A February report from the Brookings Institute models how a $15 minimum wage could help make 37% of US households financially self-sufficient., which currently stands at $7.25 per hour. Sens. Mitt Romney and Kyrsten Sinema are the latest to pitch a hike. Some proponents want to set the bar at a $15 hourly wage but others are looking to go to $11 an hour. “If any senator believes this is the last time they will cast a vote on whether or not to give a raise to 32 million Americans, they are sorely mistaken,”
Make the child tax credit raise permanent: Money from the expandedis set to start in July, sending periodic payments to lower-income and middle-income families with children. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Biden wants to make the child tax credit permanent. Others, including Sen. Romney, also support making the credit permanent since it will lift millions of children in the US out of poverty.
Renew federal unemployment payments beyond September: Along with recurring payments, the 10 progressive senators in their letter to Biden requested he also extend federal unemployment assistance beyond September.
Here are, how much money you could expect in and how to .