What are the odds of Americans getting a fourth stimulus check?
More than 2.3 million people have signed a Change.org petition calling for recurring $2,000 payments to adults and $1,000 payments for children. And at the end of March, 21 Senate Democrats (including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders) sent a letter to President Joe Biden supporting the idea of recurring payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions.
“An Urban Institute study suggests that a single direct payment of $1,200 combined with an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance and other assistance could keep 12 million people out of poverty, and adding a second direct payment could keep an additional 6.3 million people above the poverty line,” the group wrote.
Despite the calls, though, the Biden administration doesn’t seem to be behind the idea of a fourth check. On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki downplayed the likelihood of another round of stimulus payments.
“He’s happy to hear from a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what’s most important to the economy moving forward,” Psaki said. “But he’s also proposed what he thinks is going to be the most effective for the short term for putting people back to work, to getting through this pivotal period of time, and also to making us more competitive in the long term.”
While the economy is improving, 5.8% of the country was still without work in May, according to the Labor Department. That was better than April’s 6.1%, but new jobs fell short of expectations. Companies created 559,000 new jobs last month, but analysts were expecting 671,000.
While the Biden administration for now appears focused on passing an infrastructure spending package, residents in some states could still see additional funds. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, for example, has proposed $600 payments to families that make up to $75,000, an expansion of California’s Golden State Stimulus program, which has already sent out $600 payments. And the March economic stimulus package included $350 billion in aid for state and local governments that can be used to make direct payments to their citizens. The Treasury Department last month released a set of rules for spending the money.
Biden’s American Families Plan, if passed, could also provide some relief. That plan would extend the $250 monthly child tax credit through 2025.
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