Did Biden hint at fourth coronavirus stimulus checks in his speech to Congress?
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The IRS so far has sent about 163 million stimulus payments, amounting to about $384 billion, with the third round of checks. Many are already putting pressure on President Joe Biden to come up with a fourth round of coronavirus stimulus checks. It was believed that Biden would hint about his stimulus checks plans in his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night. Let’s take a look at what Biden said about stimulus-related topics in his speech.
Biden didn't talk about fourth coronavirus stimulus checks
Biden, in his speech on Wednesday night, talked about the American Rescue Plan, which was approved last month. He also talked about the American Jobs Act.
"We kept our commitment and we are sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85% of all American households…..It’s making a difference," he said.
Biden, however, gave no indication if he plans to come up with another round of coronavirus stimulus checks. Instead, he talked about the U.S. economy and the importance of creating more jobs in the country.
Biden also stressed that taxes should be imposed on wealthy Americans and not the middle class. He noted that his administration is working to make changes to the health care system.
There are, however, reports that some Democrats are putting pressure on Biden to approve another round of stimulus checks. Last month it was reported that 50 House Democratic members and up to 21 Democratic U.S. Senators wrote a letter to Biden about issuing recurring payments until the pandemic ends.
Moreover, Democrats are also asking Biden to extend other stimulus measures, such as unemployment benefits and the child tax credit.
Additionally, a report from Economic Security noted that another round of stimulus checks could help keep 12 million people out of poverty. A separate analysis from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center claims that another round of stimulus checks could lift more than 7 million people out of poverty.
Are fourth stimulus checks possible?
Biden is currently working on his “Build Back Better” program. This program includes the American Rescue Plan, which was approved last month, and the upcoming American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.
The American Families Plan will focus on investments in child care, paid family leave and education, while the American Jobs Plan would support infrastructure, electric vehicles and clean energy. Some lawmakers are requesting Biden to make recurring direct payments as part of his “Build Back Better” program.
Tax experts and the labor market, however, don’t expect Congress to come up with another round of stimulus checks. This is because the economy is now in recovery mode after the coronavirus-induced recession.
Though the job market is expected to improve in the coming months, some economists believe that it could take several years for the labor market to recover fully. The economy, so far, has recovered about 62% of jobs lost during the latest recession.