More Than 50 Democrats Call for Recurring Stimulus Checks in the Next COVID Relief Bill
by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on Jan. 29, 2021
Could you be in line for multiple stimulus checks?
President Joe Biden is urging the swift passage of a coronavirus relief bill that will provide $1,400 checks to most Americans. But even as Democrats work to bring legislation to the floor as early as next week, some progressives feel Biden's plans don't go far enough.
In fact, a group of more than 50 Democrats recently sent a letter to the president urging him to include recurring relief payments in the COVID-19 bill.
Progressive Democrats want ongoing relief for struggling Americans
The letter to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris was drafted under the leadership of Representative Ilhan Omar. More than 50 progressives serving in the House of Representatives signed it, including well-known figures such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal.
The letter states, "The stunning financial crisis for those at the bottom of the income ladder demands massive relief to those who need it most."
Specifically, the signers urge the president to provide ongoing stimulus payments that would continue until the economy recovers. "One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis," it reads. "Many families cannot afford to wait for 8 months between payments."
The progressives argue that any relief package should provide ongoing cash payments for both adults and dependents until the economy has fully recovered. While they did not specify the amount of these payments, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and others have repeatedly voiced their support for $2,000 monthly checks.
Despite their vocal insistence that only one more check is insufficient, they did not, go as far as to say they would block the existing stimulus proposal. The current relief bill does not provide repeat stimulus checks over time.
A large number of representatives have made clear they'd support larger ongoing payments, but this proposal will be a non-starter on the right. Even centrist Republicans have expressed concern about providing just one more $1,400 payment so soon after the last one.
Calls for more targeted relief
More importantly, even some moderate Democrats are sure to object to recurring payments. Some of the more conservative senators on the left have called for the next relief bill to be more targeted and limited in scope.
The Democrats have just 50 votes in the Senate at the moment. That means they will either need 10 Republicans to cross the aisle to reach the 60-vote threshold that can overcome a filibuster that would block the passage of a bill or they will need 51 votes (including the Vice President and all members of their caucus) to pass a bill through a process called reconciliation.
The Biden administration still hopes to get Republican support for a bipartisan relief bill. And Democrats can't afford to lose even a single vote from senators on the left if they hope to get the legislation passed. As such, it's almost inconceivable a bill with ongoing $2,000 payments could pass at this time.
Struggling Americans will probably see a third stimulus check in their bank accounts in the coming weeks. But that next payment will likely be the last one for a while.
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