Here's What You Need to Remember: The logic for such payments, on one level, is sound. Despite general improvements in the economy, the pandemic has had profoundly negative effects on blue-collar workers, whose jobs cannot easily be done from home.
By the end of May, it is estimated that most of the nation’s third stimulus checks, authorized in March 2021, will have been sent out. The IRS has claimed that roughly 90% of the payments have already been mailed, with a total of over $380 billion deposited in Americans’ accounts. While there is not likely to be a firm end date after which stimulus payments will be finished – invariably, some will be lost in the mail, while others will remain uncashed for months – the IRS has provided ways for concerned Americans to request their payments more quickly, meaning that anyone urgently waiting for a stimulus check will probably have it by mid-summer.
The passing of the third check, however, has led to requests for a fourth. In the two months since the beginning of the third stimulus check, more than eighty members of Congress – all Democrats – have publicly come out in support for a fourth measure. Of the eighty, the majority support further stimulus proposals that advocate for recurring, rather than one-time, checks for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
The logic for such payments, on one level, is sound. Despite general improvements in the economy, the pandemic has had profoundly negative effects on blue-collar workers, whose jobs cannot easily be done from home. Unemployment in these sectors remains high, and it is clear that another stimulus payment would go a long way towards covering their bills.
While President Biden has not indicated his support for a fourth stimulus measure, he has been the recipient of at least three letters urging him to consider it. The most recent of these was sent last week by Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA). Gomez’s letter highlights the fact that, so far, most stimulus money has been spent on urgent necessities, such as food and housing, rather than more discretionary items.
In the letter, Gomez indicates his support for a fourth stimulus check. He also suggests a novel approach, designed to allay concerns over whether the measure would actually be needed, by tying the issuance of the check to economic factors such as the unemployment rate. In this way, if the economy took another downturn, the stimulus measure could kick in, providing economic relief as needed.
While some polls anecdotally suggest support for additional stimulus measures among Americans, perhaps the most striking sign of support for further payments has been a Change.org petition for $2000 monthly stimulus checks – which has exceeded 2 million signatures since 2020.
Trevor Filseth is a news reporter and writer for the National Interest. This article first appeared earlier this week.