Biden Facing Pressure to Include a Fourth Stimulus Check in Upcoming Infrastructure Bill

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on April 10, 2021

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$100 bills surround a stimulus check from the U.S. Treasury

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Will another stimulus check be part of the president's infrastructure plan?

President Joe Biden is currently hard at work campaigning for the passage of an infrastructure plan. The president is hoping to spend an estimated $4 trillion across two different infrastructure packages, which are being referred to as the Build Back Better package.

The first part of the package, which carries a price tag of $2 trillion, would be paid for by corporate tax increases. It would authorize improvements to bridges and roadways, money for homecare services, an investment in American manufacturing, and more.

Some lawmakers, however, are pressuring the president to include another round of coronavirus relief among the provisions of the infrastructure bill. This would include a fourth stimulus check for eligible families, following the $1,400 third payment that is currently being distributed into bank accounts across America.

Lawmakers go on the record in support of another stimulus check

As the president pushes forward with his infrastructure plan, more than 75 lawmakers from the left side of the aisle have already gone on record to urge the administration to authorize a fourth direct payment. This includes members of both the House and the Senate, some of whom are pushing for recurring stimulus checks for the duration of the pandemic.

Many of these lawmakers have been advocating for more COVID-19 relief since the president took office, even as Biden laid out his proposal to authorize the largest coronavirus check available to date. In fact, just a week after the new president took office, 56 House members sent a letter urging more relief funds than the $1,400 checks the president had planned for.

They have now been joined by 21 members of the Senate, who recently sent President Biden a letter encouraging him to include recurring stimulus payments in the Build Back Better package.

Those who support more aid are among the more progressive members of the Democratic party. They are pushing for additional relief to be included because this legislation may be one of the last chances Democrats have to authorize more stimulus funds.

There is unified opposition among Republicans against more COVID-19 direct payments. Also, Democrats have just 50 votes in the Senate and would need 60 to advance legislation. Republicans can thwart most bills by filibustering them, but the filibuster doesn't apply to "reconciliation" bills that are attached to budget legislation.

Democrats used reconciliation to pass the first $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill that authorized the recent $1,400 checks. This approach was used because Republicans weren't in support of another payment after the first two checks were signed into law in 2020. And they aren't likely to sign on to the infrastructure bill. It contains tax increases and green energy investments, which those on the right tend to oppose.

Democrats now have one more chance to use the reconciliation maneuver this year to pass partisan legislation without those 10 Republican votes. If the infrastructure legislation has any chance of passing, it will very likely be through reconciliation. As a result, if another stimulus check is going to be authorized on a partisan basis, it would likely need to be included in the infrastructure plan since this would be Democrats' last shot at passing a bill through this special procedure.

Of course, there are already concerns about how to pay for such a large infrastructure plan. So adding a substantial amount of additional spending for a fourth stimulus check isn't likely to be on the president's agenda. That means most Americans hoping for another direct payment -- including those lawmakers pressing for one -- will likely be disappointed.

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