Congress is in session for the first time since May 20, and people across the country are waiting for an update regarding the fourth stimulus payment. The last update from the government was issued by Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, in May. When asked if a fourth round of stimulus payments could be expected, she replied, “We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free.” This has left taxpayers waiting for any new information regarding the next round of stimulus payments.
Now that Congress is in session again, it is likely that discussions regarding another stimulus payment are on the agenda. Several developments that took place since the last Congressional session could, in fact, help strengthen the argument for a fourth round of stimulus checks.
These developments include a new study by the University of Michigan, which indicated that the number of households with children reporting financial instability, depression, and/or food shortages dropped by up to 42% from January through April this year. This was when the last two rounds of stimulus checks were distributed.
Further, research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicated that about 13% of the stimulus money from the third round of payments was likely to be spent on essentials like housing and groceries. How stimulus check money has been spent by recipients varies with income level. Households that make less than $40,000 reported that they have used or are expecting to use 44% of the payment to repay debt, while those households making $75,000 or more reported that they only used or are expecting to use about 32% for that purpose.
Apart from this, in the last two months over 80 Democrats have urged the Biden administration to release the fourth round of payments. Once the joint session concludes this week, some sort of update regarding the fourth stimulus payments will likely be made.