THERE is still hope Americans could be in line for a fourth round of stimulus checks before the July 4 recess.
Democrats in Congress are hoping to pass a beefed-up version of President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar proposals to help families in need and fund infrastructure projects.
Lawmakers are said to be formulating a plan for a fast-track maneuver that would ensure the measures are passed, even if all Republicans oppose it.
Biden, although he has shied away from addressing calls for further relief cash to help hard-hit families, he is “open” to proposals for another round of stimulus checks.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki hinted Biden could be persuaded to release a fourth round of checks.
"He’s happy to hear from a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what's most important to the economy moving forward," she said.
"But he’s also proposed what he thinks is going to be the most effective for the short term, for putting people back to work, to getting through this pivotal period of time, and also making us more competitive over the long term."
Should the measures get approval there are indications the payments could be paid automatically into people’s bank accounts, rather than having a check posted to them.
In a letter sent to Biden in recent months, seven Democrats from the House Ways and Means Committee expressed their support for another round of stimulus checks.
The lawmakers wrote: "The pandemic has served as a stark reminder that families and workers need certainty in a crisis.
"They deserve to know they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. They should not be at the mercy of constantly shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions."
Over 20 Democratic senators sent a letter in March, calling on Biden to enact recurring payments.
The lawmakers said: "Almost six in 10 people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months."
Those supporting the move for additional stimulus checks have pointed to evidence that the payments do offer much-needed relief.
Analysis of census data by the University of Michigan found the last two rounds of stimulus checks resulted in lower rates of financial instability, food shortages and depression.
Senator Bernie Sanders, referencing the research, said in a Twitter message: "Government can and should continue to address the needs of working people, not just the 1%.”
Everyday Americans are also exerting pressure for the government to provide further pressure.
So far, more than 2.4million people have signed an online petition started by an unemployed restaurant owner calling for new $2,000 stimulus checks for adults and $1,000 payments for children which would then be followed by additional payments when needed.
Biden announced last week the White House and a bipartisan group of more than 20 senators had agreed a $1.2trillion infrastructure package to tackle issues with roads, bridges and the water supply, as well as other projects.
Biden has also indicated there will be a second bill combining the original families plan with items that got cut from the infrastructure proposal as part of the compromise.
Democrats intend to use the same budget tactic to pass the second measure as they did with Biden’s Covid rescue package in March.
The move allows for passage with just simple majorities in the House and Senate – and without any votes from Republicans.
However, passing the bill will not be an easy ride and the Democrats will need every vote and some of the party’s more conservative members balked at the last round of payments.
At the moment though the White House and Democrats are focusing their attention on the temporary expansion of child tax credit which will see many families receive monthly checks for up to $300 per child for six months.
The scheme is due to start in mid-July.
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