Stimulus Update: There's Bipartisan Support for One Particular Type of Stimulus Payment

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  • Many people have been hoping for another stimulus check from the federal government.
  • A direct payment to all Americans is very unlikely.
  • There is bipartisan support for another expansion of the Child Tax Credit, though.

You may be surprised to find that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle actually want to provide this kind of financial help.

Stimulus checks served as a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic, with most Americans receiving three separate payments into their bank accounts.

Unfortunately, it has been a long time since the federal government provided money to help individuals and families. In fact, the last stimulus payment was authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act that was passed in March of 2021. This is despite the fact that inflation is at a 40-year high and millions of people are struggling to afford the basics as prices have risen.

For those waiting for more help from Washington, D.C., it has been discouraging to see a lack of effort on the part of lawmakers to come to an agreement on providing a fourth check. While it is unlikely that a large direct payment will be broadly issued to most Americans, there is potential hope for a bipartisan agreement when it comes to one particular type of financial assistance.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle could get on board with this relief

Although there is no consensus that a fourth check should be provided, lawmakers on both the right and the left have put forth proposals for an expanded Child Tax Credit for parents.

Currently, parents can receive up to $2,000 per child if they qualify based on their income -- but only $1,400 of that is refundable. And this money is provided only when parents file their tax returns, so it comes once per year rather than on an ongoing basis.

In the American Rescue Plan Act, the Child Tax Credit was expanded. Parents were given up to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and up to $3,000 for older kids aged 6 to 17. Money was deposited on a monthly basis starting in July and going through December, with parents receiving either $250 or $300 per month per child. This resulted in half the credit being distributed up front, with the remaining half claimed at tax time.

Most Democrats wanted to continue this expanded Child Tax Credit, including President Joe Biden who wanted to include it in large-scale legislation called Build Back Better. While this legislation could not get the support to pass, prominent Democrats advocated for the expanded credit and many have made clear it is still a priority.

It's not just Democrats who want to give parents more money, though. Some GOP lawmakers, including Senator Mitt Romney, have put forth their own proposals for offering this extra financial relief to parents. This means the idea of offering more direct aid to families could actually get support from both sides of the aisle.

Will parents see more money soon?

Although Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to help families more, there is a lack of consensus on exactly how to do that. It's unclear if the parties will be able to successfully negotiate on a deal that satisfies everyone enough to get the votes needed to pass Congress.

Still, with both parties wanting to offer more funds in the form of a larger credit for parents, this is the best chance that people have to get more stimulus money from the federal government anytime soon.

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