The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package by the end of the week, which includes $1400 stimulus checks for most Americans. The package is expected to pass. Some lawmakers want to go further, however. A group of lawmakers are sending a letter to President Biden encouraging him to pass legislation for recurring stimulus payments as well as extended unemployment benefits. Here’s what you need to know.
What Senators Are Supportive of Recurring Payments?
Ten Democratic senators signed the letter being sent to President Biden encouraging him to pass legislation for recurring payments after the $1.9 trillion stimulus package passes. They include prominent leftists Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as Senator Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sherrod Brown, chair of the Senate Banking Committee. The senators represent states on both coasts and the Midwest. "Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions,” the letter reads.
The letter doesn’t specify exactly what amount recurring payments should be, how often they should be sent, or who would qualify. The letter also calls for the President to enhance unemployment benefits, but doesn’t offer details as to how. It’s a call to action for President Biden, rather than a specific policy plan.
Why Are Lawmakers Pushing for Recurring Stimulus Funds?
The main reason the lawmakers say they support ongoing stimulus payments is that for most families, $1400 will cover less than a month of expenses. The average American spends over $3000 a month on food, housing, and other essentials. As unemployment and poverty have skyrocketed in the last year, more and more families are struggling to cover basic needs.
More adults and children are experiencing hunger in the U.S. than in prior years; 50 million people are estimated to be experiencing food insecurity in the U.S. during the pandemic, 17 million of which are children. Recurring monthly payments could help alleviate the impacts of the virus on vulnerable people and allow the economy breathing room to recover.
Who is Opposed to Ongoing Payments?
Although polling shows that 65% of American voters are supportive of ongoing, monthly stimulus payments, not all politicians are. A proposal for recurring aid is likely to face fierce opposition not only from Republicans but also from moderate Democrats. Some lawmakers are concerned about how ongoing payments would impact the U.S. deficit, or that they wouldn't be targeted enough to those who really need them. It remains to be seen whether lawmakers could compromise to pass recurring payments.
Conclusion: Ongoing Payments Have Support, But There’s A Long Way to Go
Both ordinary Americans and lawmakers from around the U.S. support ongoing stimulus payments to help the economy recover from the crisis. However, a proposal for recurring payments is likely to face significant opposition, both from within the Democratic party and from Republicans. We will keep you updated on the Skip App as stimulus news unfolds. Make sure you have push notifications on so you get the latest updates.