For a number of reasons, not to mention the fractured dynamic in Congress at the moment, the likelihood of funding being approved for a fourth stimulus check along the lines of the previous three is practically zero. There does, however, appear to be a chance that funding could come for at least one specific demographic — in the form of a new $1,400 stimulus check for seniors.
Part of the reason is connected to the fact that a record-high cost of living increase to Social Security benefits in 2022 was just announced. When you add in the impact of record inflation, and of rising prices taking a bite out of household budgets to offset that Social Security increase, the impetus for lawmakers needing to help seniors is certainly there. Seniors are also an important voting bloc. And the fact that we’re only talking about one specific group of people could make some lawmakers more amenable to passing new funding along these lines.
$1,400 stimulus check for seniors
Another potential driving factor? There’s actually a growing push to get seniors this new check.
That’s distinct, of course, from the three previous direct payments to Americans, since those went out broadly. To people of all ages, income types, and demographics. Meanwhile, the advocacy group Senior Citizens League has formally asked that Congress earmark stimulus checks specifically for Social Security recipients.
The league sent a letter along these lines to members of Congress in recent days. “We believe that a special stimulus for Social Security recipients could help defray the higher costs some would face,” it reads, ‘if next year’s COLA bumps them into a higher tax bracket, causing higher tax rates on their income and surcharges to their Medicare Part B premiums.”
The group’s campaign along these lines began in September. There’s also an online petition the group prepared. It reads: “I (and/or my spouse) want Social Security recipients to receive a $1,400.00 emergency stimulus check to cope during this unprecedented inflationary year.”
Why these checks might not happen
Those circumstances above all point toward why these checks could come to fruition. There’s also evidence, however, that suggests the checks might nevertheless be a longshot, at best.
For one thing, President Biden has been unable to make much headway in recent weeks on his domestic agenda. Democrats do, of course, control both chambers of Congress. But the progressive wing of the party is somewhat at war with the center. Meanwhile, Biden can’t afford to lose a single vote.
The president himself characterized the problem thus in a CNN town hall last week: “When you’re president of the United States,” he said, “you have 50 Democrats — every one is a president. Every single one. So you’ve got to work things out.”