The latest developments do not do much to increase the hopes of a fourth stimulus check. Though more lawmakers and the common people have joined in the clamor for a continuation of the stimulus support, there haven’t been many positive signs from the administration.
And this has turned more unfavorable as 25 states are against unemployment aid and have decided to do away with it. They feel that the weekly check of $300 is discouraging workers from returning to the workplace. Business owners have sounded out as they struggle to fill positions with the economy gradually opening up.
And though we are still in the recovery phase post the pandemic, there is currently no legislation in Congress supporting any further stimulus checks. Neither are there any upcoming specific guidelines on future stimulus payments.
Many governors and senators are of the view that the American economy is gradually turning and people should be encouraged to go back to their work. Constant government aid only serves to discourage workers from going back to work.
Reports in the Boston Herald that 1.2M stimulus checks from just the first round have either not been collected, cashed, or have been returned.
Stimulus Checks: Just The Right Support At The Right Moment
But the three rounds of stimulus check were of assistance to millions of families escaping the clutches of poverty at a time the economy had ground to a halt.
Back in May, several Democratic lawmakers, part of the House Ways and Means Committee, had mailed to the President for more stimulus checks. they called for a fourth and even a fifth if necessary stimulus check. They want it to be part of the American Families Plan.
But the White House has been silent on the possibility of a fourth stimulus check at present. Jen Psaki, Press Secretary at the White House has been vague at best when she clarified that President Biden was open-minded on the issue.
President Biden Occupied With The Infra Bill
The President has shifted his focus from the American Rescue Plan to the American Jobs Plan, the $2.25 trillion investment to revamp the total infrastructure. The US has sunk to a dismal 13th in world rankings in terms of infrastructure. The funds will need to overhaul the American infrastructure on a scale not seen since the building of the interstate highways decades earlier.
But a stimulus check isn’t part of this proposal yet. It is purely to rescue, recover and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and through it, its world economic standing. And direct stimulus check payments are not part of this plan.
Though a form of stimulus check can still be added to any future major economic initiative. And the first three rounds of stimulus check also had their set of detractors.
Here How You Could Still Get A Monthly Check For The Next 6 Months
The Child Tax Credit payments are set to start soon and they appear to be the only payments possible this year. It is a boost to tax credits and the monthly payments are an advance against the 2021 returns next year.
It will bring in a total of $3,600 per child below the age of 6 and $3,000 for every child between 6 and 17.
And half of the credit amount will come in the form of 6 monthly installments starting July 2021; $300 for families with children below 6, and $250 per child between 6 and 17 years.
Other Initiatives That Could Help You Out
Other than the direct stimulus payments, or the Economic Impact Payment under the American Rescue Plan, various government programs are in place to help out employees and owners of small businesses throughout the pandemic.
The Paycheck Protection Program helped small businesses retain their workforce during the pandemic period. The initial 8 weeks long cash assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans was expanded by the Program and the Healthcare Enhancement Act that added $310 billion to the initial $360 billion programs.
It helped pay rent, interest, mortgage interest, utilities, and worker protection expenses linked to the pandemic. There was also support against vandalism and looting and specified operational costs. The loan will be waived entirely if the employee retention criteria are met.
Assistance For The Unemployed
The federal support of $300 a week is on and will continue till September 6. There are other forms of support for people who had their source of income affected. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance has been expanded to cover gig workers and the self-employed. COBRA premiums have also been waived till the end of December.
Homeowner Assistance Fund
This fund was to help prevent defaults, loss of convenience facilities due to non-payment, dislodgement of homeowners under financial hardship, and mortgage delinquency after January 21 last year.
The funds can be used for mortgage payments, homeowners’ insurance, and other similar expenses. Each state was allocated a fund for this purpose.
Keep Americans Connected
800 major companies got together and signed a pledge not to terminate the service of small and residential business customers for non-payment of bills due to the pandemic.
The companies have also pledged to waive any late fees incurred by such customers. Furthermore, the companies will also seek to provide free wi-fi for connecting to the internet for the citizens that can prove that it is absolutely necessary.
Emergency Assistance For Federal Rentals
This fund was created to help out renters in sectors where the increased marked rates and the layoffs have made it difficult for them.
This is one of the largest benefits allocated under the Rescue Plan. At places where landlords don’t accept direct assistance, renters may be offered payments directly.
Renters will not be evicted for failure to pay in the months where they have received emergency rental assistance.
The administration has also urged landlords not to evict tenants for failure to pay rent for one to three months more than the covered period to continue receiving the payment under this scheme.
A Case For A Fourth Stimulus Check
There is a definite need for a fourth stimulus check which goes beyond the call by different groups. The economic turnaround, though perceptible, has been slow and it may take the whole of 2021 to reach its pre-pandemic levels.
Many sectors are still completely shut down, for instance, the international tourism market. And advocates for a fourth stimulus check have said that future stimulus payments should be automatic and not stalled by legislation demands.
The impact of vaccination is also being felt as more people have dared to venture out and cases have steadily come down after April. 64.3% of Americans have received at least the first dose of vaccination by the second week of June. 43.1% have received both their shots. But the precautions against the pandemic are still on.