Ever since the $1,400 stimulus checks began going out to most Americans, the IRS, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, released a weekly update on how many checks have gone out.
The most recent one, released this week, states that the 7th batch of payments has gone out, with an official payment date of April 28.
The new batch consisted of nearly 2 million payments, with a total value of more than $4.3 billion, the IRS said. The total of payments has now reached 163 million payments since the passive of the American Rescue Plan, totaling about $384 billion.
More than 1.2 million payments, with a value of over $3 billion, went to what was described as “eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue an Economic Impact Payment but who recently filed a tax return.” The batch also included 730,000 “plus-up” payments, valued at a total of $1.3 billion. The “plus-up” payments are described as “additional ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier this year received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns.”
In his address to the nation on Wednesday night, President Biden spent a couple of paragraphs talking about the Rescue Plan, the stimulus checks, and the effect they’ve had sos far.
“We kept our commitment and we are sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85% of all American households. We’ve already sent more than 160 million checks out the door. It’s making a difference. For many people, it’s making all the difference in the world… together — we passed the American Rescue Plan,” Biden said, per his prepared text, as published by Politico. “One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. We’re already seeing the results.”
Indeed, GDP figures released Wednesday morning found that the U.S. economy grew at a brisk rate in the first quarter of 2021. The GDP grew at a 6.4 percent annual pace in the first three months of the year.
And the stimulus checks, it appears, had quite a lot to do with it.
“The increase in first quarter GDP reflected the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments, and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first quarter, government assistance payments, such as direct economic impact payments, expanded unemployment benefits, and Paycheck Protection Program loans, were distributed to households and businesses through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act,” the government report said.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.