Will There Be a Fourth Stimulus Check?

Even as stimulus checks part of the third economic relief package are still in the process of being sent to qualifying Americans, speculations are rife about a fourth stimulus check. Over the last few weeks, approximately 156 million payments of up to $1,400 per person have been issued under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act.

[bg_collapse expand_text=”Continue Reading” icon=”arrow” color=”white” view=”button-blue”]

These stimulus checks are a part of a broad effort by the government to cushion the economic impact of COVID-19 on households and support the economy during its recovery. The stimulus package also offers unemployment benefits, boosts the child tax credit, and so on. However, American households are still struggling to meet their basic needs, with financial insecurity still prevalent.

According to a recent survey, the current income of 40% of respondents still falls short of their pre-pandemic income. Employment is still well below pre-pandemic levels—approximately 744,000 people applied for unemployment insurance, an increase from the first week of April.

The recent round of stimulus checks is a short-term fix to a long-term problem. Some political figures feel the latest stimulus check, in addition to the previous stimulus checks, won’t suffice. During the first week of April, a group of Democratic Senators, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Ron Wyden of Oregon, sent President Joe Biden a letter requesting “recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions.”

Earlier, another letter to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris from 53 representatives stated something similar. The letter said, “Recurring direct payments until the economy recovers will help ensure that people can meet their basic needs, provide racially equitable solutions, and shorten the length of the recession.” However, despite multiple appeals, another stimulus check is unlikely.

With vaccinations rising steadily, the economy is showing signs of recovery. Hiring in some sectors has picked up, and so has consumer confidence and spending. Moreover, the American Rescue Plan Act passed along party lines, with the Democrats using a reconciliation process to pass the bill in the Senate without Republican support. Only one reconciliation bill can pass every fiscal year. The Biden administration currently has other priorities, so another stimulus check may very well not happen.