Fourth Stimulus Check Status Now Unclear — How Biden’s New Plan Changes Future Cash Payments

Stack of 100 dollar bills with illustrative coronavirus stimulus payment check to show the virus stimulus payment to Americans.
BackyardProduction / Getty Images/iStockphoto

There’s no doubt that stimulus checks have had a positive effect on the U.S. economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping pull many Americans out of poverty while giving others more breathing room to pay bills and make purchases. That’s why a number of lawmakers are pushing for President Joe Biden to introduce a fourth stimulus check to complement his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which he unveiled this week.

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Whether that will happen remains uncertain, however, even as many Americans look for indications that another stimulus payment will be forthcoming.

As USA Today reported on Wednesday, Biden hasn’t said publicly whether he will support a fourth stimulus payment, and he didn’t mention one during his address to Congress Wednesday night.

The American Families Plan focuses mainly on child care, paid family leave, education and tax credits rather than direct payments. The federal government has already delivered up to $3,200 in direct payments to each eligible American adult through three previous spending bills, CBS News reported over the weekend. These included $1,200 as part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020; $600 in a December stimulus package; and $1,400 under the American Rescue Plan that Biden signed in March.

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But Democrats in both the House and Senate urge Biden to approve a fourth round of stimulus checks to help Americans who continue to struggle financially. An analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, found that a fourth payment might help lift more than seven million Americans out of poverty.

Nearly two dozen Senate Democrats sent a letter to Biden on March 31 urging him to implement recurring stimulus payments, according to Business Insider. Proponents say doing so will provide needed financial relief to Americans who are still having a hard time making ends meet. According to a recent Bankrate survey, around two-thirds of Americans say the latest $1,400 check won’t last them three months.

But as USA Today pointed out, labor and tax experts sound doubtful that future stimulus checks will be included in the next relief package, citing an improving economy and job market.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte MagazineStreet & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, will be published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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