Here's What You Need to Remember: Our country is still deeply struggling. The recovery hasn’t reached many Americans. … Another single check won’t solve our problems—people are just too far behind. Like we’ve been saying from the beginning of this pandemic, people need to know when the next check is coming.
Over roughly the past year, Congress has green-lighted the delivery of three coronavirus stimulus payments—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.
As for the latest payment, records prove that most Republican lawmakers were against it—yet, according to a new poll conducted by Rural Objective PAC, data pointed to the fact that only 50 percent of voters in rural areas associated the stimulus checks with Democrats. Moreover, 32 percent associated them with Republicans, while 11 percent associated them with neither party.
“We’re not connecting with these voters, even if we have great policy,” J.D. Scholten, executive director of the Rural Objective PAC, recently told the Washington Post.
He added that “(stimulus) was one of the biggest investments we’ve seen in rural America since the New Deal. It’s good policy. It should be good politics, too, but right now Democrats aren’t taking advantage of it.”
Furthermore, amid the recent calls for a fourth or even a fifth round of stimulus checks to assist still-struggling Americans, it has been mostly Democratic lawmakers who have stepped up to the podium.
Earlier this week, six members of the House Ways and Means Committee sent off a letter to Biden, again pushing him to include recurring direct payments in his nearly $2 trillion American Families Plan. In all, at least eighty Democrats in Congress have shown support for the payments.
“The pandemic has served as a stark reminder that families and workers need certainty in a crisis,” the letter said. “They deserve to know they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.”
In March, Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and other Democratic senators noted in a letter that “while we are pleased that the American Rescue Plan included a one-time direct payment and an extension of federal unemployment insurance programs, a single direct payment will not last long for most families.”
Ordinary citizens have also taken action to demand more rounds of stimulus. For example, more than 2.2 million individuals already have signed a Change.org petition that is demanding $2,000 recurring monthly stimulus checks.
“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 stated.
“Our country is still deeply struggling. The recovery hasn’t reached many Americans. … Another single check won’t solve our problems—people are just too far behind. Like we’ve been saying from the beginning of this pandemic, people need to know when the next check is coming. And the best thing our government can do right now is send emergency money to the people on a monthly basis,” 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. This article first appeared earlier this year.