Petition calls for 4th stimulus check, but is more relief money coming? Here’s the latest

A number of internet hoaxes have been circulating this month claiming that a fourth stimulus payment is on its way. In fact, while some lawmakers had called for additional stimulus money in the spring, many now argue it’s not a priority due to signs of a post-lockdown rebound — like jobless claims dropping to the lowest since last year. Still, there’s plenty of public support for ongoing relief aid. With over 2.6 million signatures, a petition states: “The true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20% and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care.”

The three stimulus checks helped families pay for household expenses and other needs during the pandemic. Yet a fourth payment isn’t included in the draft bipartisan infrastructure plan or any of President Joe Biden’s recent economic proposals. One type of extra cash going to millions of families in 2021 is the expanded child tax credit, with the first advance payment issued July 15. This year, even parents who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes can qualify for up to $300 per child each month.

So what’s the fate of a fourth stimulus check? We’ll explain below. As for other money matters, new rules for the child tax credit give parents the option of receiving the advance monthly checks for extra cash this year or receiving one lump sum for up to $3,600 per kid in 2022. Here’s how to check on your tax refund if you haven’t received it yet and what to know about the unemployment tax break. We’ve updated this story.

What’s happening with the petition for ongoing $2,000 checks?

A current petition that has collected more than 2.6 million signatures calls on Congress to send out a fourth stimulus check of $2,000 for adults and $1,000 for children on a monthly basis for the remainder of the pandemic. The petition notes that “the recovery hasn’t reached many Americans” and points to the need for immediate checks and recurring payments so that “we can keep our heads above water.”

According to a recent study, the first three stimulus checks helped reduce hardships like food insufficiency and financial instability. So far during the pandemic eligible adults have received a max of $3,200 and children have received $2,500. For many struggling families, that’s not enough to bounce back from lost wages and benefits. While the petition is close to becoming one of the most popular on its website, whether it will have any effect is another question.

What’s new with Washington’s stimulus money proposals?

Since the American Rescue Plan became law in March, the White House has proposed two packages — the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan — neither of which called for more stimulus aid. On June 3, a White House press conference indicated that efforts would focus on the infrastructure spending package. Biden is “open to a range of ideas” regarding stimulus aid, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, but she also said he already put forward what would be “the most effective for the short term.”

The new scaled-back compromise of the bipartisan infrastructure deal, which the White House announced on June 24, doesn’t include anything related to “human infrastructure” — it doesn’t address child care, improved wages or job training. At the same time, the announcement states, “President Biden remains committed to the comprehensive agenda laid out in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.”…Read more>>


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