The IRS has issued millions of payments as part of the third round of direct stimulus aid, but many lawmakers across the country continue to urge the Biden administration to approve a fourth round of stimulus payments, which will send recurring checks to eligible individuals until the COVID-19 pandemic is truly behind us.
So far, the federal response to the crisis caused by the pandemic has delivered up to $3,200 to every eligible adult: $1,200 via the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act last year, $600 as part of a relief measure in December 2020, and $1,400 as part of the American Rescue Plan that was signed into effect in March this year by President Biden.
Despite the three rounds of aid provided, millions of Americans continue to be in a state of financial distress. According to a study conducted by TransUnion, about 4 in 10 Americans reported that their income remains below what it used to be pre-pandemic. Across the country, almost 16 million people are receiving some type of unemployment assistance. And, the employment rate at present stands at 6.1%, which is significantly higher than the pre-pandemic level of 3.5%.
In short, for many Americans who are struggling with joblessness amidst a weak labor market, the most recent round of $1,400 stimulus payments will likely not last very long. This unfortunate statistic has caused many senators to push for recurring stimulus payments. Many top economists in the country are also in support of more direct aid to Americans.
However, while a fourth stimulus check could help those who aren’t earning enough, experts have indicated that another round of financial aid is quite unlikely at this time.