Millions of Americans have already received their third Economic Impact Payment (aka, the stimulus check) that was mandated by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which the Democratic-controlled Senate was able to pass despite no Republican senators voting for it.
However, while the third stimulus check—worth $1,400 for most—was welcomed by Democratic lawmakers, economists, and Americans regardless of the party they affiliate with, a large group of other Democratic senators has come forward urging President Biden to send out a fourth round of stimulus checks—and keep them coming. In a letter the twenty-one Senators recently sent to Biden on March 30, they state:
We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan. While we are pleased that the American Rescue Plan included a one-time direct payment and an extension of federal unemployment insurance programs, a single direct payment will not last long for most families, and we are worried about the cliff facing unemployed workers when the unemployment insurance extensions expire on September 6. This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Families should not be at the mercy of constantly shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions.
The letter goes on to argue that there are three main reasons to implement recurring stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment insurance. Those reasons are:
- Taken together, stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment insurance are a proven one-two punch that can help keep as many as 12 million people out of poverty.
- The evidence shows that direct payments and enhanced unemployment insurance also act as economic stimulus, which enables people to go out and spend money, thus supporting jobs.
- Recurring stimulus checks have massive support from both the American public and economists: 54% of Republicans want Congress to pass legislation guaranteeing recurring stimulus checks, as do 60% of independents. In total, 65% of Americans support the move.
The letter sent to President Biden was signed by Democratic senators Ron Wyden, Elizabeth Warren, Alex Padilla, Michael Bennet, Edward Markey, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown, Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Richard (Dick) Durbin, Brian Schatz, Jeffrey Merkley, Debbie Stabenow, Tammy Duckworth, Gary Peters, Mazie Hirono, Ben Ray Luján, Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Independent senator Bernie Sanders.