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There might actually be two new $1,400 stimulus checks on the way

Published Aug 31st, 2021 12:51PM EDT
new stimulus payments
Image: Rick/Adobe

New stimulus payments are the sun around which the Democratic political ecosystem and its supporters orbit right now.

So far, of course, one wave of $1,400 stimulus checks has gone out this year. Following two previous rounds of payments last year, in March and December of 2020. Meantime, two of six child tax credit payments have gone out since July 15. With those being a different kind of stimulus check, putting a few hundred extra dollars in parents’ pockets each month through the end of this year. But about a new stimulus check? There’s been a question of whether the third stimulus check, for $1,400, would be the last one we get this year. Maybe even for good. However, there’s starting to be speculation that Democrats could soon get behind not one but two new $1,400 checks soon — if they want to, that is.

New stimulus payments — two $1,400 checks?

The reason has to do with one word: Taxes. After a vote in recent days in the House of Representatives to advance a $3.5 trillion budget plan, the party in control of both Congress and the White House is now poised to move on to a social spending blueprint. Tax changes would be the key way this new social spending package is funded, with President Biden, for example, on record as supporting an increased 28% corporate tax rate. Democrats also want to at least partially undo President Trump’s 2017 tax reforms.

Kyle Pomerleau, a tax expert at the American Enterprise Institute, told NBC News the tax changes Democrats are considering could raise $800 billion. For those of you keeping score? That’s roughly enough money to fund a pair of new stimulus payments, for $1,400 each.

Between the passage of the $1.9 trillion stimulus law in March through late July, the federal government distributed more than 171 million stimulus payments. Those were the third such relief check, to be more specific, and they collectively totaled more than $400 billion. That’s according to the IRS.

What happens next

Actually steering any of the $800 billion toward new stimulus payments, though, is another matter entirely.

If it’s true what that old maxim says, about politics being “the art of the possible,” then anyone hoping for another stimulus check probably shouldn’t hold their breath. The issue of what is, indeed, possible right now between Democrats and Republicans is quite a hazy thing to try and discern.

Conservatives are seething at Democrats as well as President Biden right now for a host of reasons. The validity or not of which is beside the point. The point is that both parties being at each other’s throats is not conducive to getting this thing done.

And here’s yet another clue that conditions aren’t exactly ripe for passage of new stimulus payments anytime soon. Democrats are reportedly going to need at least 10 Republican votes to raise the nation’s debt ceiling in short order. But almost 50 GOP lawmakers have already vowed to oppose such a move.

Accordingly, our estimate in this earlier post still stands. There’s absolutely no chance we’ll get a fourth stimulus check in 2021, but we’re happy to be proved wrong.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.