Stimulus Check Update: There's Some Bad News About a Fourth Stimulus Check

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on June 1, 2021

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The president's new budget did not include funding for a fourth stimulus check.

Throughout the pandemic, the government has taken many steps to try to help reduce the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19. Stimulus checks were an especially important and effective method of assisting struggling Americans. A total of three checks were authorized, two under the Trump administration and one under President Joe Biden.

For many Americans the stimulus money has now run out, but the lingering financial effects of the pandemic remain.

Demand for more stimulus money is high among the public, with millions of people signing a petition calling for a fourth check. And a growing number of Democrats have also urged the White House to make providing ongoing direct payments a priority. That would mean not only providing a fourth payment, but actually offering ongoing checks until certain economic conditions are met.

But despite the mounting pressure key members of his party are placing on the president, he recently released his proposal for the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget without another stimulus payment included. And that's bad news for those holding out hope for a fourth stimulus payment.

Here's why.

The president's budget makes clear that another stimulus check is not a priority

A president's budget is a roadmap for what the leader hopes to accomplish over the coming year. In most cases, proposed budgets that come from the White House are just a starting point for negotiations with congressional leaders. But presidents generally draft their budgets carefully to showcase what their priorities are in terms of legislation.

That's why the exclusion of a fourth stimulus check from Biden's budget proposal is troubling for the millions of Americans -- including many Democrats in Congress -- who believe additional stimulus funds are so important.

Biden's proposed budget calls for a whopping $6 trillion in spending, which is a dramatic increase compared with the current baseline and with past proposals. In fact, the spending plan Biden has laid out would call for the longest and most robust period of government investment in more than 50 years.

Biden's plan addresses a host of priorities, including funding for infrastructure; healthcare research; climate change; and tackling gun violence. It would fund both the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan that Biden has recently put forth. It would also provide money for additional policy proposals including for expanded housing vouchers and community policing.

The very fact it is so comprehensive -- and includes so much spending -- makes it especially relevant that stimulus checks were excluded. It is clear that the Biden administration has conclusively moved on from aiming to provide more stimulus funds and is now focused on other initiatives it believes could help Americans.

Without the Biden administration's full-throated support, stimulus checks will be all but impossible to pass, especially over unified Republican opposition. Those hoping for an additional payment should explore other types of financial assistance available from state and federal governments because it's unlikely they will see more federal stimulus money in their bank accounts any time soon.

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