Before President Joe Biden was inaugurated, he promised Americans they’d receive a third coronavirus stimulus check. His administration has now followed through on this promise.
Some lawmakers are pushing for more stimulus money
California Rep. Ro Khanna is one of the leading voices arguing for additional stimulus funds. On March 14, Khanna tweeted “A one-time $1,400 check is simply not enough to pay the bills. We’re one year into this pandemic, and many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Let’s pass $2k monthly checks.”
Khanna is far from the only progressive in Congress making the argument that additional stimulus is needed. In fact, 50 Democratic representatives and 10 Senate Democrats expressed their support for ongoing payments in past letters sent to the Biden administration. Signatories included some notable names, with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar both lending their support.
Despite this push, however, it’s very unlikely that a fourth stimulus will pass. There are a few primary reasons for that.
First and most notably, the third stimulus check was passed on a partisan basis. Democrats have just 50 of 100 votes in the Senate, with the vice president providing the tie-breaking 51st vote. Republicans can block legislation by filibustering it, so unless a bill gets 60 votes, it can’t advance.
Democrats were able to push through the American Rescue Plan Act with a process called reconciliation that can’t be filibustered — so legislation can pass with a simple majority. But there are limited opportunities to use reconciliation. As a result, unless 10 Republicans change their mind and decide they want more stimulus money, it’s unlikely a bill could make it through Congress.
There are other arguments against a fourth check as well, including the fact that states have begun loosening restrictions as vaccinations ramp up. Biden has suggested that American life will be closer to normal by July 4, which could reduce the need for more stimulus funds.
Finally, the Biden administration has begun discussing other priorities, such as an infrastructure bill combined with an increase to taxes for wealthy Americans and corporations. With the president focused on other initiatives, another stimulus check likely isn’t high on his agenda.
For these reasons, it’s a good idea to use the third check as wisely as possible, whether that means catching up on bills, bulking up your emergency fund, or investing it for the future. Consider which option makes sense for you so you can make the best use of what’s likely to be your final stimulus payment.