During the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal lawmakers provided three stimulus checks to people across the United States. But since March of 2021, no additional legislation has passed to put more money into people’s bank accounts. Lawmakers have been focused on other priorities, and widespread support for another payment has been lacking.
One thing could change that though: A recession.
Why A Recession Could Mean More Stimulus Checks
If the U.S. were to fall into a recession, this could result in lawmakers providing another stimulus check payment.
There’s a simple reason why a recession would make another payment more likely. Stimulus checks have been used in the past to respond to this type of economic downturn, and are an effective tool for doing so.
In 2001, for example, the Bush administration took action in light of the recession that was ongoing at the time by providing $300 stimulus checks for adult tax filers. And in 2008, another recession occurred during the financial crisis and President George W. Bush signed a bill into law that provided $600 for most individual taxpayers and $1,200 for married joint filers with incomes below a certain threshold. The 2008 stimulus also included a $300 per child tax credit.
With ample precedent for providing stimulus payments during difficult economic times, lawmakers would likely feel a lot of pressure to act if the country once again falls on hard times.
It is difficult to predict if a recession will happen or not. Some experts believe that one is likely to occur as a result of supply chain issues, high levels of inflation, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and a host of other factors. But no one can say for certain when or if a recession will hit the U.S.