The IRS is continuing to distribute direct federal stimulus payments of up to $1,400 to eligible Americans. So far, the IRS has distributed more than 165 million of these payments with a total value of over $388 billion.
There are signs, however, that the IRS is nearing the end of its campaign to distribute these payments, with its efforts now largely focused on sending payments to Americans whose eligibility is dependent on the IRS’ processing of their 2020 tax returns, including those of whom the IRS did not have a record and those who are eligible for supplemental “plus-up” payments.
A fourth stimulus payment currently appears unlikely, with the Biden administration set to focus on providing more indirect relief to Americans rather than direct relief in the form of additional stimulus payments. This includes the administration’s two proposed tax and spending bills – the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan – which the administration argues will support long-term economic growth and revival. Even though these plans do not include additional direct stimulus payments, they could still result in more money in the hands of many Americans through big savings on important expenses.
Education is a major expense for many Americans, and the American Families Plan would look to help Americans save money on that expense while also enhancing access to quality education. The plan calls for funding to make the first two years of community college tuition-free, as well as $200 billion dollars in investments towards universal preschool for three- and four-year-old children. In addition, the plan would also expand Pell Grant awards, enhancing access to funding for education available to students with significant financial needs. Beyond this, the plan calls for increased recruitment and training of teachers and early childhood educators, increasing the quality of education available to those looking to take advantage of these resources.
Child Care Costs
Child care is another significant expense for many American families, and the American Families Plan would look to address this by ensuring that qualifying American families do not spend more than seven percent of their income on child care for children under five years of age. The plan would also look to continue to support American parents by extending the expanded child tax credit through 2025 as well as making a tax credit available to parents with qualifying childcare costs more permanent.
Eli Fuhrman is a contributing writer for The National Interest.