With more than 85 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for coronavirus stimulus checks already sent out, it appears that the Internal Revenue Service is down to its final weeks of disbursing the remaining payments.
With this in mind, millions of financially wounded Americans have been holding their breath to see any sign that perhaps a fourth or even a fifth round of stimulus checks are in the offing--especially with the latest jobs numbers being less than stellar.
Know that to date, Congress has already approved the delivery of three stimulus cash payments to most Americans—a $1,200 check in April 2020, $600 in December, and the current $1,400 payments under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Earlier this week during a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did not directly rule out future stimulus payments. When asked if there would be another round, she responded: “We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free.”
There are also some Washington lawmakers who want to take that a step further and make child tax credits and direct payments permanent.
“For our economy to fully recover from this pandemic, we must finally acknowledge that workers have families, and caregiving responsibilities are real,” noted the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Richard Neal, who has introduced an ambitious bill that aims to extend the child tax credit permanently.
“A single direct payment will not last long for most families. … This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads,” the letter stated.
More recently, about 2.1 million people already have signed a Change.org petition that calls for $2,000 recurring monthly stimulus checks to financially support Americans amid the ongoing pandemic. Roughly four in ten Americans are still continuing to experience income loss compared to before the start of the pandemic, according to research conducted by TransUnion.
“I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis,” the petition wrote.
“Otherwise, laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed, and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table. … We need immediate checks and recurring payments so that we can keep our heads above water. Congress needs to make sure that we won’t be left financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy,” it added.
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.