Fourth Stimulus Update Likely This Week

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

Congress is in session this week for the first time since May 20, and all eyes are watching for comments regarding a fourth stimulus update.

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The last government update was given by White House Secretary Jen Psaki in May. When asked about the possibility of a fourth stimulus, she responded, “We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free,” leaving taxpayers waiting for any new information.

Now that Congress is meeting once again, discussions surrounding another stimulus payment are likely.

Several developments since the last Congressional session could help strengthen the argument for a fourth stimulus.

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These includes a new study by the University of Michigan that showed the number of households with children reporting food shortages, financial instability and/or depression dropped by between 20% and 42% from January through April, reported ABC affiliate WXYZ 7. This was the period of distribution for the last two rounds of stimulus payments.

Additionally, research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York predicted that about 13% of stimulus money from the third stimulus would be spent on essentials like groceries and housing. How stimulus money has been spent varies by income level, with households making less than $40,000 reporting using or expecting to use 44% of their stimulus money to pay down debt, while those making $75,00 or above were using or expected to use only 32% for that purpose. The lower-income households were also found to spend more of their stimulus payment, thus aiding the argument for a fourth payment.

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Moreover, in the past two months, over 80 Democrats in Congress, including at least six on the House of Representatives’ powerful Ways and Means Committee, have joined the push for a fourth stimulus payment, according to Newsweek.

As the joint session concludes this week, some sort of update is expected as to lawmarkers’ intentions for a fourth payment. It seems unlikely, as Biden’s administration has focused its attention on his two massive infrastructure and American Families plans, both of which are in excess of a trillion dollars and could supersede another direct payment.

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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