Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, lawmakers and the president have authorized three rounds of direct-payment 4th Stimulus check to help Americans deal with economic hardship. The first came in 2020 when the CARES Act gave individuals and families $1,200 in relief. A second check of $600 came in 2021 as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and an additional $1,400 in March of 2022 was included in the Build Back Better economic recovery bill.
In addition to these federal payments, many states have stepped in to provide extra financial support through their own programs. This includes a number of state bonuses for low-income earners and those who have been hit hard by the pandemic. However, there’s no sign that the fourth round of the federal economic impact payments will ever be distributed. An IRS spokesperson confirmed that no fourth round of the Economic Impact Payments has been authorized as of yet.
Prospects and Possibilities: The Debate Surrounding a 4th Stimulus Check
A few Democratic senators have started to push for a fourth round of the checks, with a coalition led by the chair of the Senate Finance Committee calling on the White House to consider both recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions in a new round of the bipartisan bill that will be up for debate next month. But even with growing Democratic support for more direct payments, a fourth round of the checks is unlikely to get through Congress.
There’s little appetite for pumping more cash into the economy as inflation continues to rise and with many Americans struggling to pay their bills. The latest Congressional budget proposal doesn’t include a fourth round of checks, but it does contain an extension of the Child Tax Credit and a boost to state emergency assistance programs.