Stimulus Update: There's Bipartisan Support for This Type of Financial Relief

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  • Many Americans are hoping for additional stimulus payments.
  • There's bipartisan support for an expanded Child Tax Credit.
  • More help for families is the most likely type of stimulus relief that will come from Washington.

One group of Americans could possibly get more money from the federal government.

The American Rescue Plan Act in 2021 included several different kinds of stimulus relief.

One type of financial help came in the form of a $1,400 stimulus check. This was made available for most adults and dependents and deposited directly into bank accounts of eligible Americans. Another was the expanded Child Tax Credit, which provided thousands of dollars in extra funds for parents of eligible children.

This financial relief helped people cope with the ongoing consequences of COVID-19 and resulting lockdowns. Many Americans are still struggling, though, especially as inflation surges and prices rise on gas, groceries, and other necessities.

While it's unlikely that Washington lawmakers will find bipartisan consensus on certain types of stimulus aid, the good news is, there's still hope for extra help for families.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle may support this type of financial help

The chances of another $1,400 stimulus check -- or a similar direct payment of any amount going to almost all adults -- are very slim.

The Biden administration hasn't been pushing for this type of aid. And while a small number of Democrats have made clear they'd be on board with ongoing checks -- most lawmakers on the left haven't been proactive in supporting this type of broad financial help either.

Lawmakers on the right did not support the $1,400 payment under the American Rescue Plan Act, so they are also extremely unlikely to be in favor of a similar one now that economic conditions have improved. This type of payment, therefore, is almost assuredly off the table.

Another expansion of the Child Tax Credit is a different story, though. This is a top priority for the Biden administration, and many Democrats believe more relief for parents is necessary. Some lawmakers on the right have also put forth proposals offering more help for families.

An expansion of the Child Tax Credit is within reach

The American Rescue Plan Act provided a Child Tax Credit worth $3,600 per child under 6 years old and $3,000 per child over the age of 6.

This credit was made fully refundable, so even those who pay little or no federal income tax still received the full amount. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, half the credit was put into people's bank accounts last year or sent via check each month from July to December.

This money was only available for 2021, but lawmakers on the left tried to extend it under President Biden's signature legislation, Build Back Better. Build Back Better was a large piece of legislation, though, and it failed to get the requisite support. This wasn't because of broad opposition to the Child Tax Credit, though. In fact, the vast majority of Democrats want to continue offering this kind of stimulus relief.

Lawmakers on the right are also in favor of expanding aid to families, although not under Build Back Better. Senator Mitt Romney proposed a child benefit under the Family Security Act in 2021, and a conservative think tank, American Compass, put forth the idea of a Family Income Supplemental Credit.

With support from both the left and right for expanded financial help for families, it's possible this type of stimulus relief could become available in the coming months or years. Parents should be alert for signs of bipartisan negotiations on an expanded credit as this could be the first key step that more money will be forthcoming.

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