1 in 5 Americans Have Given Up on Getting a Second Stimulus Check

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on Oct. 6, 2020

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A young boy holding a small basketball and wearing a medical mask while looking forlornly out the window.

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Americans are giving up on getting help -- but are they right to do so?

When the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law in March, it was instrumental in keeping families from dire financial hardship.

For many, the crisis is far from over -- yet leaders in Washington D.C. have struggled for months to pass more coronavirus relief. Millions of Americans continue to hope that politicians will come through with a second stimulus check, expanded unemployment benefits, and other much-needed aid. Sadly, many have given up on this help ever arriving.

In fact, a recent poll conducted by YouGov revealed that 20% of all Americans -- around one in five -- now think more coronavirus relief legislation will never pass.

Most Americans aren't optimistic about a second stimulus check coming soon

According to YouGov, the 20% of Americans who say they've given up on more coronavirus relief completely aren't the only ones who are pessimistic. In fact, just 17% believe lawmakers will pass legislation within the next two weeks and another 26% are hopeful a bill could come within the month.

More Americans believe help will come within a longer timeframe: 26% indicated they expect a stimulus bill to pass within two months and 11% thought legislation could happen within the next year. Many of those who expect progress within the next two months or so -- but not sooner -- may be banking on the 2020 election to break the logjam.

Sadly, those who have given up on the idea of a second stimulus check -- or believe they won't see one for a long while -- have justifiable concerns. In recent months, lawmakers have repeatedly tried and failed to negotiate a consensus relief bill.

Coronavirus relief negotiations have shown signs of progress, but lawmakers remain billions of dollars apart on the amount they'd like to spend. And there's no immediate crisis on the horizon that could push them to overcome their differences. Some had hoped tying coronavirus relief to a resolution necessary to keep the government funded would create a deadline for action. But that did not work.

Of course, an outbreak of COVID-19 in the upper echelons of the U.S. government may serve as a wakeup call. Coronavirus remains a substantial public health risk as well as a catalyst for economic disaster. If this prompts swift action, those who are optimistic about a stimulus bill passing soon might turn out to be right.

Regardless of what occurs in negotiations over the next few days, every American should assume there won't be another stimulus payment and plan accordingly. The bottom line is, you can't count on D.C. to provide relief -- even though many top CEOs warn it is necessary.

Put as much cash into your savings account as possible to see you through these difficult times. Take some time to explore ways you can reduce your expenditures, such as refinancing your mortgage or paying off high-interest credit card debt.

If you act as though no stimulus is coming, you'll be prepared. Then, if it turns out lawmakers do provide relief, the unexpected extra cash will be a pleasant surprise.

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