May 1, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Is a fourth stimulus check possible. In the year since the COVID-19 crisis began, the government has approved three stimulus checks for a combined amount of $3200 per person across all of the checks distributed. With COVID-19 vaccines increasing and economic optimism increasing, the question remains. "As you prepare your Build Back Better plan for long term economic recovery," the Senators wrote in a March letter to President Biden, "know that we are ready to work with you in support of recurring direct checks."  The just passed American Rescue Plan is the first spending package in 2021: with $1400 checks, $300 extra in weekly unemployment benefits and an expanded Child Tax Credit lined up. Now, the Biden administration is working on a sequel, a package the President refers to as the Build Back Better plan. That proposal aims to invest in the nation's energy grid, transportation, broadband and water systems and may not include stimulus checks--despite the urging of progressive Senators including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Is a fourth stimulus check possible.

A future stimulus check would take a different form. The American Rescue Plan doesn't authorize just one check: it actually contains three direct payments designed to help struggling individuals and families. It's possible a future b could extend  or introduce more money through direct checks that go to specific groups of recipients, including parents who earn below a certain income or people out of work.  Stimulus checks: The new one time stimulus payments that were up to $1400 a piece to those who meet the requirements. Child tax credit sends qualifying families $3600 for each child under the age of six and $3000 for children 6 or older.

Another check that has been showing up is the Federal Unemployment bonus: a monthly federal unemployment check is being sent until Sept. 6 at up to $300 a month, in addition to state benefits for unemployed workers.  More members of Congress since the beginning of the year, with the economy in the slump it has been in due to the COVID surge, calling for recurring payments until the COVID crisis is over, or the economy turns the corner.