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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Next Stimulus Check: Lawmakers And Citizens Make Strong Pitch For Immediate Payments In 2021

Even as the IRS is busy distributing the $1,400 stimulus checks, people wait in expectation of a fourth one. Senior Senators and common people have both appealed for a 4th stimulus check to immediately follow the third payment. And some lawmakers have gone even further and pitched for a 5th round of stimulus payments.

Most Americans have already used up their third stimulus check. A letter from 7 Democratic lawmakers to President Biden has called for both a 4th and 5th stimulus check to provide for food and housing, and to meet other essential expenses.

The Case For A 4th Stimulus Check

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President Biden’s Economic Impact Payment of up to $1,400 was the third round of stimulus payments after the $1,200 and $600 payments in 2020.

The American Rescue Plan has also approved an extension of the $300 per week unemployment relief and the expanded child tax credit that runs into the tax season in 2022.

The child tax credit will bring an additional $300 max per week from July to December 2021. This comprises half of the payment, the other half to be adjusted against the 2021 tax returns next year.

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President Biden has also pitched for two more plans, the American Jobs Plan plus the Families Plan. But neither plans include any further direct stimulus measures at present.

Influential lawmakers have strongly advocated going in for a 4th stimulus check. They include influential Senators like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They have asked President Biden to go in for regular checks in future stimulus packages.

They have also urged Biden for extension of unemployment insurance that would automatically be linked to prevailing economic conditions.

They were joined within weeks by the 2nd group of Democrat lawmakers.

The latest group to get into the act are members of a powerful committee charged with reviewing and making recommendations for government budgets.

Members Of Influential Committees Also Pitch For More Stimulus Checks

stimulus check
stimulus check

The 7 lawmakers are on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees taxation and government budgeting. These lawmakers who signed the letter represent around 15% of the total committee members.

They wrote that ordinary Americans should not have to worry about providing for themselves and their families. The aftereffects of the pandemic continue to affect the economy and illness has tied up many workers, especially women, to their homes to take care of ailing family members.

Though the lawmaker hasn’t added a date to their demands, they have stressed the need for urgency. They feel the 4th and 5th rounds of stimulus checks could help around 12 million Americans avoid being pushed down into poverty.

The direct stimulus checks, combined with the American Recovery Plan could help bring down to 16 million people the number of people in poverty. The numbers are a staggering 44 million at present.

The Present Stimulus Plans Under The American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan signed on March 11, 2021, by President Biden has three direct stimulus checks among its plans. These 3 plans will directly infuse stimulus support for the poor and out-of-work Americans, many of whom are being forced to seek government support for the first time in their lives.

The three direct stimulus payments approved under the plan include the third stimulus check of $1,400. A majority of Americans who have qualified for the amount have received the payments or should get it soon. Many have got a second follow-up payment, called a plus-up payment.

These payments were based on fresh calculations triggered by many Americans filing the 2020 returns. Many Americans experienced a drastic loss in income in 2020, and this meant more money.

The child tax credit is meant to support families with children. Each child is entitled to payments up to $3,600 depending on their age. These payments will continue through the 2022 tax season. President Biden himself has strongly pitched for extending this relief till 2025 and even wished to make this a permanent relief.

The extension of the federal unemployment payment has helped American workers get $300 per week till September 6, 2021. But around 2 dozen states have opted out of this benefit from June 2021. They argue that it will encourage workers into joining the workforce.

Progress In The American Jobs Plan

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

President Biden is at present occupied with his American Jobs Plan, an ambitious $2 trillion stimulus for a complete overhaul of the tottering infrastructure. He proposes to cover a wide-ranging number of sectors including food, housing, roads, bridges, ports, airports, transit systems, telecom and IT infrastructure, and education.

But this plan does not include any proposal for direct stimulus payments. There is also an American Tax Plan alongside the jobs plan. This plan is to ensure that corporations honor their commitment to pay their share in taxes and make sure that they are committed to creating additional jobs in their respective sectors.

Many corporations are reneging on their responsibility by shifting jobs and profits out of America.

This investment in the nation’s long-term growth and productivity will invest only 1% of the GDP each year, over 8 years. This should ultimately ensure a jump start to the manufacturing sector, investment in science and research, strengthening the care infrastructure, and propping up the supply chains.

How Will The American Families Plan Help?

The next in line with President Biden’s plans for the nation, the American Families Plan will include giving direct cash to families and individuals.

This plan is the most likely platform for additional stimulus checks to the American people. President Biden’s plans to make the child tax credit into a permanent feature could see realization under this plan.

The President had called on both the Senate and the House to extend till 2025 the child tax credit. Even Republican Senator from Utah Mitt Romney has supported the plans to make the child tax credit into permanent support for families with children. He said that this plan could bring millions out of acute scarcity.

Progress In The Minimum Wage Plans

Several Senators have continued with their efforts to raise the minimum wages from the present $7.25. The minimum wages have gone down in real-time over the decades. The President has called for raising it to $15.

Influential Senators like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Romney have also supported a hike in the federal wages. Some senators have said $11 was also acceptable but would prefer it to be $15 per hour. A study in February by the Brookings Institute has revealed that raising the minimum federal wages to $15 an hour could help 37% of American families self-reliant.

A Further Extension Of The Unemployment Benefits

Some lawmakers are also for extending the unemployment benefits beyond September 6, 2021. But this plan has not gone down well with many states as many feel that this would discourage workers from returning to the workforce. America is at present experiencing a shortage of workers as the economy opens up.

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