Stimulus Update: This Is Your Best Chance for a Fourth Check

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  • Many people are hoping for a fourth stimulus check.
  • With control of Congress changing, prospects are dimmed.
  • There could be some options for another payment.

Will you end up with more stimulus money?

If you have been hoping for a fourth stimulus check to be deposited into your bank account from the federal government, the odds got a little slimmer when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in the most recent November election.

But, this doesn't mean that there's no chance of an additional payment coming in. However, if one does come, there's one specific form it would likely take.

Why another stimulus check is less likely

The most recent stimulus payment from the federal government came from the American Rescue Plan Act in March of 2021, which is a law that was passed on a party-line basis. No Republicans voted for it, and it passed with Democratic votes alone by a very narrow margin. Republicans did not believe another stimulus was necessary at the time when the law passed.

With Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives, it will no longer be possible for Democrats to pass partisan legislation. If they want to get a law to President Joe Biden's desk, they will need the support of at least some Republican representatives. It is unlikely that they will get it, especially as pandemic conditions have improved substantially since the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law.

Since the Democrats can no longer act alone, another direct payment like the $1,400 stimulus check is very unlikely to be provided.

Here's what another check could look like

Although the likelihood of a federal stimulus payment was greatly reduced by the outcome of the election, it is possible that some Americans could receive more help from the government. This could come in the form of some type of expanded Child Tax Credit.

Several prominent Republicans, including Mitt Romney, have proposed expanding this important type of aid offered to parents. Since an expanded Child Tax Credit was a key centerpiece of the American Rescue Plan Act, offering more aid to parents does have bipartisan support -- although there is disagreement on the way in which the credit would be structured (and funded).

With control of Congress split, lawmakers will have to work across the aisle if they want to get anything done. Since a larger tax credit for parents is one of few areas where there is potential for agreement, it is possible lawmakers will work on finding consensus on this issue. As a result, this is the best chance Americans have of getting a fourth payment from the federal government.

Unless lawmakers do find agreement, though, additional federal aid isn't likely to come. And if that's the case, the only hope of continued financial assistance is if your state is among the many who are using COVID-19 relief funds to give back to their residents.

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