March 17, 2021 - Douglas Myser

Stimulus check may be first of many. As the Biden administration looks to quickly pass the economic stimulus bill, many in Congress are calling for ongoing stimulus checks to be handed out monthly during the pandemic. That may be difficult, unless tailored to those in need, as those without the need simply put the money in investments. Recurring payments, though might ease economic slowdown concerns by allowing families to plan for better months ahead. But a key to it, Congress so far has not been in detailed discussions. "Families, small businesses and the overall economy are all pretty much the same on this issue," said Greg Nasif, spokesman for Humanity Forward, the political arm of Democratic candidate Andrew Yang. "They need to plan their budgets. They do better, and they spend more, when they know what's coming. That's why recurring installments of direct payments are so important, whatever the scale and scope."  Biden's plan call for $1400 payments to eligible family members, which, in addition to the $600 payments approved by Congress in December, would total $2000 in support. That would be in addition to the $1200 per individual payments sent out last spring. Stimulus check may be first of many.

In addition to humanity forward, some Democratic House members are pressing for recurring payments, but in much larger amounts instead of breaking up the $1400 in Biden's plan. Reo. Ro Khanna, a Democrat from California and the first vice chair of the liberal Congressional Progressive Caucus, has said he wants recurring payments in the stimulus package, but in a far bigger amount, $2000 a month. "Even if we can't get $2000 in, you get some recurring monthly payments, at least until the summer, so that the Americans have some real help," he said last week. "Obviously, I'm going to want to support what's going to get relief to people, but I think that that would be good to have." Some Republicans believe that even with additional income, people will not spend the money. But that may be going away as the vaccine effort mobilizes and herd immunity takes over later in the year.