Congress last approved coronavirus stimulus checks in March of this year. These payments proved to be a life line for millions of Americans who were struggling to pay for their basic needs. Now, the impact of those payments appears to be fading after four months, but many are still struggling financially. This is why many are still pushing for another round of coronavirus stimulus checks to be approved before August.
Is there need for more stimulus payments?
After the IRS started sending the third stimulus checks of up to $1,400, there were reports suggesting that it helped in reducing hardships.
“The delivery of robust, primarily cash-based assistance to U.S. households was followed by major declines in material hardship,” a report based on the U.S. Census Bureau data noted.
Now, it seems the impact of those payments is fading. As per a report from the Centers on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), about 20 million Americans are still struggling to get enough to eat, while about 11.5 million adults are behind on their rent.
These numbers are despite a significant uptick in the employment level. For instance, about 850,000 jobs were added in June. Even though the unemployment rate continues to drop, it still is nowhere near the pre-pandemic level.
Moreover, there were still 6.8 million fewer jobs as of June 2021 than in February 2020. What makes the unemployment situation even grimmer is that the majority of job losses last year were in the lowest wage industries, which represent about 30% of all jobs.
Even though the economy continues to add more jobs, jobs in the low-wage industries are still down when compared to middle-wage and high-wage industries.
Also, a May estimate from the Centers on Budget and Policy Priorities claims that about 30 million people lived in a family where at least one adult wasn’t earning that week due to being unemployed or the pandemic.
So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that despite a rebound in the economy, many still need federal help, including in the form of stimulus checks. This could be the driving force behind a change.org petition, which continues to get support.
The petition, which asks for $2,000 in monthly stimulus payments and is targeting 3 million signatures, has already got more than 2.6 million signatures. If the petition gets 3 million signatures, it will be one of the top signed petitions on Change.org, the website says.
Though there is a need, as well as demand for more stimulus checks, it is very unlikely that Congress will approve another stimulus payment. Some legislation is in the works, but none include anything related to stimulus checks.
Many lawmakers believe that an improving economy negates the need for another stimulus check. The expanded child tax credit could be another reason why lawmakers aren’t keen on more stimulus checks.