President Biden earlier this week announced that the disbursement of stimulus checks as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package he signed into law in recent weeks has already hit a key milestone.
As of Wednesday, according to the president, 100 million stimulus checks have been sent out to American taxpayers — the checks generally offering a base amount of $1,400, as part of the third wave of stimulus checks to arrive in bank accounts and mail boxes since the onset in early 2020 of the coronavirus pandemic. The terrible economic blow associated with the pandemic unleashed a torrent of government spending, and even though trillions of dollars in direct aid has already been extended to Americans, some lawmakers are also already talking about a fourth wave of payments and the possibility of sending out yet another new stimulus check to millions of Americans.
A big chunk of the Democratic House caucus, for example, has signed on to a letter, published by Politico, that presses President Biden to authorize a recurring series of stimulus checks rather than the one-off stimulus payments that Americans have received so far. “Another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities,” reads the letter that Democratic lawmakers including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez signed on to. “One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis.”
And it’s not just Democratic members of the House of Representatives who are behind this idea. Earlier this month, 11 Senate Democrats likewise called for recurring direct payments and an increase in unemployment benefits, according to CNBC. And lest you dismiss this idea out of hand as unlikely to come to fruition, consider:
The recently-passed $1.9 trillion stimulus package, while it didn’t include the kind of recurring stimulus check that these Democrats support, still got close to that idea in other ways. For example, as we’ve noted in previous posts, it wasn’t completely obvious from media coverage about the bill, but it included three different payments that could all accurately be described as a “stimulus check.”
There was the $1,400 check that everyone knows about, as well as extra federal jobless aid for unemployed workers at a rate of $300/week through September 6. That’s the second “stimulus check.” Also, an expanded child tax credit included in the bill will actually be worth more than the $1,400 stimulus checks. As we noted here, parents are eligible to receive an additional $3,600 as part of this tax credit for children up to age 6 — or, if their children are older, they’d get $3,000 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17. This payment would be disbursed monthly, making this yet another stimulus check — and, moreover, that’s exactly the kind of recurring payment the Democrats are calling for. Meaning, we’re closer than you might have realized to what these Democrats are asking for, already.