The American Rescue Plan was signed by President Joe Biden last Thursday in an effort to provide financial relief to individuals, businesses and communities hardest hit by the coronavirus. This marked another round of stimulus checks, the third since the pandemic first hit last year.
According to Politico, some Democratic members of Congress do not feel a third stimulus check is enough. Two months before the new relief package was signed, 50 Democratic members of the House of Representatives signed a letter asking President Biden to prioritize recurring direct checks instead of one-time stimulus payments.
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was the letter’s lead signatory. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was among the other House members who signed.
In a January press release, Omar stated, “A one-time payment of $2,000 is simply not enough. The American people are counting on us to deliver transformative change, and we need to meet the moment by delivering monthly payments of $2,000.”
Eleven Senate Democrats also pressed for recurring direct payments and increased unemployment benefits at the beginning of March, according to CNBC.
While recurring stimulus payments did not end up in the signed bill, it’s still possible that a fourth round of stimulus checks or recurring payments could be set up in the future. However, considering that the American Rescue Plan was passed using the budget reconciliation process, recurring payments are unlikely to happen without bipartisan support.
The letter published by Politico states, “Another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities. One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis.”