Why Biden Isn’t Sold on Giving Americans Another Stimulus Payment

Why Biden Isn’t Sold on Giving Americans Another Stimulus Payment

There is evidence that these payments have played a significant role in helping to jumpstart an American economic recovery.

Here's What You Need to Remember: Indeed, there has been little interest among Republicans for a fourth-round of stimulus payments, and it is unlikely that such a measure would generate support from the at least 10 Republican Senators that would be needed to prevent a filibuster.

The IRS is continuing to distribute the third-round of federal stimulus payments called for by the American Rescue Plan. Following the announcement that the IRS had begun distribution of the eighth batch of such payments, a total of 164 million payments worth roughly $386 billion have now been sent to eligible Americans.

There is evidence that these payments have played a significant role in helping to jumpstart an American economic recovery. These payments of up to $1,400 – the largest stimulus payments tied to COVID-19 relief so far – combined with greater rates of vaccination and the reopening of many businesses across the country are fueling an economic boom, with both consumer spending and household income on the rise.

These payments have also proven to be popular with many Americans, according to recent polling.

And even as the stimulus payments have proven to be key in generating an economic revival, it is also clear that not all Americans have seen the benefits. 61 percent of respondents to a recent Bankrate survey indicated that their $1,400 stimulus payment would only support their financial well-being for up to three months, with 21 percent of those respondents reporting that their payments would last only a month and an additional 14 percent believing that their payments would not meaningfully impact their financial situations.

In recognition of this, a growing number of Americans have been advocating for additional payments in the future. A number of online petitions calling for further payments, as well as ongoing recurring payments for the remainder of the pandemic, have received millions of signatures. In addition, a sizeable number of Congressional Democrats have also called on the Biden administration to pursue additional recurring stimulus payments to American families.

Despite this, the Biden administration has given no signals that it intends to pursue such payments in the near future, even as President Biden himself acknowledged the positive impact of stimulus payments in a recent address to Congress. More recently, White House press secretary threw administration support for a fourth-round of stimulus payments into question by suggesting that the issue would be left up to Congress, while also pointing out that additional payments would be difficult to pay for.

Ironically, the success of the stimulus payment program is likely to contribute to its ending. The economic revival brought on by the stimulus payments, including data suggesting that more Americans are using their third stimulus payments for activities such as paying down debt that was the case with previous payments, is likely to be used as ammunition against further stimulus payments.

Indeed, there has been little interest among Republicans for a fourth-round of stimulus payments, and it is unlikely that such a measure would generate support from the at least 10 Republican Senators that would be needed to prevent a filibuster.

Instead, the Biden administration appears set on generating support for its two proposed tax and spending bills that it argues will support long-term economic growth and revival.

Eli Fuhrman is a contributing writer for The National Interest. This article first appeared earlier this year.

Image: Reuters.