Can a fourth stimulus check be negotiated and passed in November?
Federal unemployment programs have ended, and while the economy rebounds – it’s returning to ‘normal’ at a slower-than-expected pace. Calls for a fourth stimulus check have also grown louder as prices and inflation continue to rise – putting families at risk of poverty again.
The current form of the Democrat-led reconciliation bill does not include another round of stimulus checks. However, modifications to that bill next month before another debt ceiling increase debate in December could mean additional stimulus payments.
But how much? And for who would a fourth stimulus check be delivered?
Unemployment and stimulus checks
There have been several stimulus checks issued over the last 20 months. However, most of those were sent out by the IRS when unemployment was significantly higher. The unemployment rate in the early days of the pandemic was over 14% as states shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, the final stimulus check was sent out in March – when unemployment had dropped below 7%. Even when the third stimulus check was signed into law – a month before most people received it – unemployment was under 8%.
Inflation and stimulus checks
Republicans are expected to push back even harder against another round of stimulus checks for the same reason that Democrats support them. As inflation rises – Republican lawmakers argue that additional money will cause inflation to increase. Democrats say that it will be the difference between families making ends meet – or not being able to do so.
A petition to send $2,000 monthly payments to most Americans until the end of the pandemic has more than 3 million signatures now. While that has gained a lot of support across the country – it hasn’t gained much momentum among lawmakers. Even the most progressive pockets of the Democratic Party in Congress have failed to grow support for $2,000 recurring payments.
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