As President Biden approaches the halfway point of his first year in office, some national leaders are continuing to ramp up the pressure on him to approve more stimulus check payments in response to the coronavirus pandemic — the longest of long shots right now, but something that could end up delivering a fourth and perhaps even a fifth stimulus payment if they get their way.
Beyond the latest stimulus check update, we’ve been telling you across several posts now, involving the up to $3,600 payments coming to the first of some 39 million households starting in July for each eligible child, the number of supporters in Congress is growing when it comes to support for more of the straightforward stimulus payments. It no doubt helps when those political leaders see things like this Change.org petition, which as of the time of this writing has been signed by more than 2.3 million people and calls for not only another stimulus payment but recurring stimulus payments. Likewise, a report from the Economic Security Project estimates that a fourth and fifth stimulus check could keep another 12 million people out of poverty.
The average person, remember, has already received $3,200 from the federal government solely from the three previous stimulus checks — those checks being for $1,200, $600, and $1,400, in that order. “The driving force behind the American Rescue Plan … is projected to cut child poverty in half this year, due mostly to investments in direct cash payments and the new income floor for families with kids,” the Economic Security Project report continues.
Combined with the effects from the American Rescue Plan — which is the $1.9 trillion stimulus rescue package that President Biden signed into law back in March — the report goes on to estimate that direct payments could reduce the number of people in poverty in 2021 from 44 million to 16 million.
So that’s where we are right now: As noted, the biggest round of stimulus-related payments yet is about to get underway, in the form of the child tax credit payments that will give some families as much as $3,600 over the course of a year for each eligible child. That’s more than double the size of the biggest stimulus check so far. Meantime, reports like the one noted above as well as the petition help give political cover to Democratic Senators, for example, like those who recently penned a letter to President Biden pressing him to approve recurring stimulus payments as well as automatic unemployment insurance tied to specific economic conditions to support Americans still hurt by the pandemic.
“This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads,” the letter said. “Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.”