Stimulus Update: This Is the No. 1 Reason Another Check Could Be on the Table

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  • Another stimulus check isn't likely on the federal level.
  • A fourth payment could come under some circumstances, though.
  • A fourth check is more likely if the country enters into a recession.

Another stimulus check isn't likely on the federal level, but could happen if this occurs.

During the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal lawmakers provided three stimulus checks to people across the United States. But since March of 2021, no additional legislation has passed to put more money into people's bank accounts. Lawmakers have been focused on other priorities, and widespread support for another payment has been lacking.

One thing could change that though: A recession.

Why a recession could mean more stimulus money becomes available

If the U.S. were to fall into a recession, this could result in lawmakers providing another stimulus payment.

There's a simple reason why a recession would make another payment more likely. Stimulus checks have been used in the past to respond to this type of economic downturn, and are an effective tool for doing so.

In 2001, for example, the Bush administration took action in light of the recession that was ongoing at the time by providing $300 stimulus checks for adult tax filers. And in 2008, another recession occurred during the financial crisis and President George W. Bush signed a bill into law that provided $600 for most individual taxpayers and $1,200 for married joint filers with incomes below a certain threshold. The 2008 stimulus also included a $300 per child tax credit.

With ample precedent for providing stimulus payments during difficult economic times, lawmakers would likely feel a lot of pressure to act if the country once again falls on hard times.

Will a recession occur?

It is difficult to predict if a recession will happen or not. Some experts believe that one is likely to occur as a result of supply chain issues, high levels of inflation, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, the ongoing war in the Ukraine, and a host of other factors. But no one can say for certain when or if a recession will hit the U.S.

Of course, even if the country does enter into a recession, there is no guarantee that stimulus checks will definitely come. A lot depends on the makeup of Congress at the time of the economic downturn as well as on how severe the recession is.

A recession can have a whole host of undesirable consequences including high levels of unemployment, though, so hoping for a recession to usher in another stimulus check isn't the way to go. Still, a downturn occurring remains the best, and likely only, chance that more stimulus funds will be made available on the federal level.

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