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IRS stimulus check update: 4th payments could be back on the table if supporters get their way

On Monday, six members of the House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to President Joe Biden encouraging recurring direct payments.

IRS stimulus check update: 4th payments could be back on the table if supporters get their way
[Photo: Douglas Sacha/Getty Images]

If you’d lost hope of another stimulus payment coming your way, don’t despair: The concept is back in action in Washington, receiving renewed attention now that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has sent out most payments from round three. Here’s a roundup of who is saying what:

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  • House Ways and Means Committee: On Monday, six members of the committee sent President Biden a letter encouraging recurring direct payments. They suggested that the payments be tacked onto the American Families Plan, and tied to economic conditions, noting that two more checks would keep 12 million out of poverty. This signals that the idea is still in play.
  • The White House: Biden has not committed to checks, but he has also not ruled them out. When asked about fourth checks earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free.” Translation: punting. Biden is currently focused on passing the American Jobs Plan and the American Families plan, as well as a spiraling crisis in the Middle East.
  • California Governor Gavin Newsom: When asked whether more aid was coming, Newsom said, “In California, the answer is YES.” He is not waiting for the federal government, and instead using a budget surplus to launch another round of Golden State Stimulus, which will likely be $600 checks for individuals, plus $500 for dependents, available to most earners making $30,000-75,000 per year, including undocumented workers. Nearly 80% of the state’s tax filers would receive the payments.
  • Democratic Congresspeople: Newsweek reports that over 80 Democrats in Congress are now on board with the idea. Six weeks ago, top Democrats had sent a letter to Biden encouraging payments. Nancy Pelosi has not ruled it out. Nine weeks ago, she memorably replied to a query about more stimulus payments with, “You’ll have to ask the virus.”
  • The People: Almost two-thirds of voters think more stimulus payments are a good idea according to a January poll. A petition on Change.org for monthly stimulus checks through the duration of the pandemic now has north of 2.2 million signatures. Who woulda thought that free payments from the Treasury are popular?
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