In fact, only about 15 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for stimulus funds remains to be sent out.
And for Americans hoping for another round of stimulus checks, President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress last week likely disappointed, as he did not directly press for a fourth or a fifth round of stimulus funds.
For many, though, this was expected. Those who are reluctant to give Americans more monetary assistance have pointed out that Congress has already approved the delivery of three stimulus cash payments—a $1,200 check in spring of 2020, $600 in December, and the current $1,400 payments under Biden’s $1.9 trillion legislation.
Struggling Americans, however, can take solace in the fact that in his speech on Wednesday night, Biden outlined a number of ambitious plans under the American Families Plan that could potentially provide more financial relief to both individuals and families over the long term.
If this nearly $2 trillion legislation gets green-lighted, it would lower child care and health care costs by the billions for many families, subsidize college tuition costs, provide paid sick and family leave, and reduce health insurance premiums for millions of individuals.
For example, an average family could save $14,800 a year on child care costs, according to the White House, as the plan proposes to cap such expenditures at 7 percent of a person’s income. And by offering more assistance paying health insurance premiums, it could save the average family up to $50 each month.
Moreover, the legislation could potentially give parents and legal guardians a total of up to $16,200 of cash per child. Those with children living at their home could be the beneficiaries of a monthly $300 check per each child for about four more years—through the year 2025.
For those who are worried that it could take a considerable amount of time for the new legislation to get passed, keep in mind that American Rescue Plan still has plenty of bullets left. In what amounts to essentially a “fourth” stimulus check, know that beginning in July, millions of eligible parents will receive a $250 or $300 payment each month under the expanded child tax credit.
Many Americans, though, are still holding out hope that a larger child tax credit and permanent direct payments will become a reality—and there appears to be several Washington lawmakers who are pushing for that to happen.
“For our economy to fully recover from this pandemic, we must finally acknowledge that workers have families, and caregiving responsibilities are real,” said Rep. Richard Neal, who has introduced a bill that will extend the credit permanently.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.