Stimulus CheckCheck for Stimulus Update: Discussions on the Fourth Stimulus...

Check for Stimulus Update: Discussions on the Fourth Stimulus Check have reopened.

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We’ve been saying for months that a fourth check won’t be arriving in bank accounts anytime soon. The stock market is rising, more people are returning to work (or starting their own enterprises), and most Republicans are adamantly opposed to providing additional aid to the American people.
Just as we were closing the door on the potential of a fourth check, lawmakers opened it again, if only slightly. “We’re in regular conversations,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier this week when asked about the likelihood of further stimulus cash.

And that was the end of it. Psaki’s remark piqued our interest enough to make us ponder about three things:

  1. Who is the White House “constantly conversing” with about additional stimulus funds?
  2. Biden’s economy appears to be in good shape. Why is there such a clamor for more stimulus money?
  3. Is there talk of issuing another check to all Americans who earn less than a particular amount?
    We’ll try to answer these three questions here.

Who is it that is speaking?

Please understand that the majority of Republican politicians are adamant about blocking additional aid. Still, a small bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans has been privately meeting for weeks, attempting to come up with a focused relief package to suit the needs of small businesses such as restaurants, gyms, and live entertainment venues, which may be an encouraging sign to some.

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and Republican Senator Roger Wicker put up a $68 billion proposal in mid-December that included a mix of new expenditure and repurposing surplus funds from prior financial aid packages. If passed, money would go to small businesses still suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

Furthermore, Democrats are working hard to get President Biden’s Build Back Better Act passed (BBBA). The BBBA would reauthorize the enlarged advance Child Tax Credit, which expired in December and left millions of families unclear whether they would ever receive another monthly Child Tax Credit check.

A significant stumbling block

Democrat Joe Manchin of Virginia is standing in the way of the BBBA and the enhanced Child Tax Credit. Manchin has blamed his opposition to BBBA on a variety of concerns, including inflation, the national debt, and who would receive more money if monthly Child Tax Credit payments were reinstated.

Despite the fact that the enhanced Child Tax Credit has lifted millions of children out of poverty in the United States, including 346,000 children in West Virginia, Manchin claims he can’t support an expansion because he’s scared parents will spend the money on illegal drugs.

According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, 50,000 children in Manchin’s home state (the second poorest in the US) are at risk of falling into or deepening poverty if he votes against BBBA with Republicans.

What exactly is the problem?

In a nutshell, omicron. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, coronavirus cases in the United States have reached new highs, with hospitals overflowing with new patients.

For a little while, life appeared to be returning to normal. Vaccines and boosters were on the market, new therapies were on the way, and the economy was improving. But here we are in January, with over 832,000 Americans dead and counting, and the number is growing by the day. Nearly four out of ten vaccine-eligible Americans are unvaccinated, and businesses are paying the price in terms of sick and hospitalized personnel and customers.

Gains are at risk of vanishing, and enterprises that appear to have a chance of surviving are confronting new challenges. While omicron does not have the same symptoms as COVID-19 or the delta version, experts warn that it is significantly more contagious and likely to infect a larger number of people.

There is nothing that can be done to safeguard the economy against omicron, especially if the number of new cases continues to rise at this pace and more pandemic restrictions and shutdowns are implemented.

Who is the most likely recipient of future funds?

Small business owners look to be the target of future stimulus payouts. These are the people who are most likely to receive another round of cash, whether it’s a daycare that has closed owing to coronavirus cases or a gift shop that has too few clients.

The outcome of the virus will determine whether or not another round of stimulus funding is made. Will it continue to infect the herd, or will it acquire herd immunity? Will any stimulus payments be contingent on fresh spending, or will there be enough money left over from previous financial aid packages to keep small firms afloat?

There’s enough uncertainty that we can honestly claim we don’t know where these new bipartisan conversations will lead. We know that the first three rounds of stimulus checks were sent when the number of COVID-19 instances skyrocketed.

The first was in April 2020, when the pandemic was just getting started. The second occurred in January 2021, when the second wave of cases slammed upon American shores. And the most recent check was in March 2021, when instances were still on the rise but immunizations were still in short supply.

For the time being, the best we can do is keep an eye on Washington, D.C. to see what occurs.

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