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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Is A 4th Stimulus Check On the horizon? White House Hints At Agreement

Nothing has been as intangible in recent weeks as the chances of another stimulus check. There have been reams written about the possibility of additional rounds of stimulus payments in 2021, but the President and the White House had so far maintained a studied silence. 

But things could change soon as Congress has set its mind to it after the recess for Memorial Day. Plus the White House finally has something positive to say about it.

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Many influential lawmakers have pitched for an additional relief payment. They have rightfully argued that the third stimulus check was not enough to tide through the crisis. Most Americans are still struggling to put food on the table and have a huge backlog of various debts from home loans, mortgages, insurance, rent, and utilities. And these have continued to pile up over the months during the pandemic.

Fresh Developments On The Fourth Stimulus Check

There have been new developments that prove that the three rounds of stimulus checks have made a huge difference in the life of Americans. There has been an acknowledgment that the third stimulus check of $1,400 per individual is long spent in many homes. And the only thing that can keep people afloat in these troubled times is another round of stimulus checks. And they need to come in immediately.

80 Democrats have already written to President Biden pleading for another round of stimulus checks. And they were recently joined by lawmakers in the House Ways and Means Committee. It is a congressional body comprising lawmakers that wield strong power over government expenses. In the letter to the President, they have said that a fourth and even a fifth stimulus is the only way to keep Americans out of scarcity. They haven’t mentioned an amount, though.

The Clamor For A Fourth Stimulus Check Grows Stronger

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Other lawmakers have joined for further relief payments. And there have further developments that strengthen their case. Remarks by the Press Secretary reveals that President Biden is open to more stimulus payments in the future.

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The Democratic lawmakers have urged the President to go in immediately for another stimulus check. The lawmakers of the Ways and Means Committee have stated that a 4th stimulus check and even a 5th was needed to keep at least 12 million Americans out of poverty.

There have also been appeals by common people. An online petition by more than 2.2 million signatories has urged the President that a monthly stimulus check of $2,000 for adults and $1,000 for children is urgently needed if people are to rise out of the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic. The petition on change.org was started by a restaurant owner who had to shut down due to the pandemic.  

There Is A Turnaround, But It Is Slow

Accelerated by the vaccination drive, the American economy is gradually opening up. But the pace is uneven and slow. Many people still need immediate help as the turnaround has been confined to specific sectors, especially the new economy. The latest report given out by the administration has revealed that 9.3M Americans are still unemployed. It is way above the 5.8M figure in February this year, right before the virus began to have its effect.

Rent And Mortgage Dues Are At An All-Time High

A fresh study by the California University, Berkley has revealed that close to 6M renters have dues of almost $20B. The national moratorium declared on evictions will expire on June 30 this year.

Fresh Evidence Of The Benefits Of The Stimulus Checks

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

There is fresh evidence that points towards the relief brought in by the stimulus checks. The University of Michigan has initiated a study of the census survey that has pointed out that the last two rounds of stimulus checks have helped Americans in keeping food on the table and a roof over their head. It has helped Americans retain their mental health in these extremely troubled times.

It has been found that between January and April, there has been a drop of 42% in the financial instability of households having children. The total financial instability dropped by 43%.

There has also been a vast improvement in mental health with a drop in depression and anxiety down by 20%. Professor Luke Shaefer, who was among the team who prepared the report, said that direct cash stimulus gives families more flexibility in handling their troubles than indirect forms of aid.

The stimulus checks have helped families pay for necessities like groceries and housing costs. People have also spent on affordable life and health insurance. There has been a sharp spike in demand for such policies during and after the pandemic.

Other people have spent the money on paying mortgages, investing for future use, and investing in the stock market.

The Response From The White House

President Biden is preoccupied with the infrastructure bill worth $2 trillion. Even as the American Rescue Plan, and more directly the direct stimulus payment, the Economic Impact Payment, has helped with its immediate support for the people, there is much needed to be done to shore up the economy and ensure that the impact of such a crisis is less in the future.

The President has plans to refurbish and rebuild the economy. He wants to overhaul the complete infrastructure on a scale not seen since the building of the interstate highways. It is expected to create millions of direct and indirect jobs. It will be an investment in America. Attention will be paid to the roads, water systems, bridges, the internet, and a lot more. But there is no direct stimulus planned under this plan.

But the President’s spokesperson has said that he isn’t closed to the idea and could still consider a fourth stimulus check in the future. Jen Psaki said that the President is open to ideas in the future.

She said that President Biden is more than willing to consider fresh ideas that would be effective to the economy and help move it at a faster pace. She added that the President has proposed the issues that he considers will help in the short term.

The Road Ahead

At present, Congress has plans to move ahead with the President’s proposals to bolster the economy. The immediate need is to shore up the economy by strengthening the basic infrastructure. Democrat Congressmen have proposed to add direct stimulus payments to the Families Plan. That would mean a further increase in the $1.8 trillion budget plan for it.

With the senate tied, it would be a tough task to push the fourth round of payments through. It would mean the end, even if one Democratic voted against it. There was resistance from even some Democrats for the third stimulus check, while the Republicans were totally against it.

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