Lawmakers continue to urge the White House to approve a fourth stimulus check for Americans who are struggling financially, with some proposing that future relief be tied to economic conditions, meaning stimulus checks might hit bank accounts automatically.
As Newsweek reported on Wednesday, the White House has been sent two letters, signed by 26 Democrats, pushing for the enactment of so-called “automatic stabilizers” for expanded unemployment and stimulus checks. They say this will help prevent the kind of partisan gridlock that stalled relief packages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automatic stabilizers would help lawmakers avoid negotiations tied to each relief package. One possibility is to use unemployment as the stabilizer, though any economic indicator might work.
With legislation that includes unemployment as an automatic stabilizer, the number of jobless Americans who fell below a predetermined level would trigger a relief payment. When the unemployment rate rises above that level, the relief would be automatically pulled back.
A growing number of Democrats continue to push more financial relief in the form of a one-time payment or recurring payments, CNET reported on Thursday. President Joe Biden has not committed to a fourth payment, and his latest stimulus plans don’t call for one. Instead, the focus has been on tax credits for child-care expenses and other costs.
But many Americans say more stimulus money is needed to help those who keep struggling financially. Even though the U.S. economy has shown strong growth of late – it ticked up at an annualized rate of 6.4 percent during the first quarter – many Americans remain in tough economic straits. About four in 10 say their income remains below its pre-pandemic levels, CBS News reported, citing data from TransUnion.
As of Wednesday, nearly 2.2 million people had signed a Change.org petition urging lawmakers to pass legislation for recurring $2,000 monthly payments. Twenty-one senators, all Democrats, signed a letter to President Biden in late March supporting recurring stimulus payments
At the state level, millions of Californians might be in line for a fourth payment through a proposal by Governor Gavin Newsom to send $600 stimulus checks to residents under a multibillion-dollar spending plan unveiled earlier this week. Roughly two-thirds of Californians might get a stimulus payment under his plan.
Meanwhile, many Americans are still receiving their third stimulus payments. CBS Philly reported on Thursday that more than 165 million payments of up to $1,400 per person have been sent out in the two months since Biden’s American Rescue Plan passed. About 1 million paper checks and Economic Impact Payment cards were sent last week alone, along with “plus-up payments” for those who didn’t originally get what they were due.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: New Stimulus Checks Could Start Hitting Your Account Automatically