The Biden administration is working on giving Americans stimulus checks of $1,400, but is facing opposition from several Republicans, who are worried about the high cost of the package. However, some lawmakers are pushing Biden to increase this amount even further, and give recurring coronavirus stimulus checks of $2,000.
Calls for recurring coronavirus stimulus checks
On Thursday, a group of more than 50 House progressives wrote a letter to the Biden administration. In the letter, the lawmakers asked the administration to include recurring stimulus checks in the relief package, instead of a one-time payment.
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The group of Democrats, which sent the letter, was led by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Others in support of recurring coronavirus stimulus checks were Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others.
“One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis," the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “Many families cannot afford to wait for 8 months between payments.”
A point to note is that the letter didn’t specify the amount of the recurring checks. Rep. Omar, however, in a tweet on Thursday, said she is in favor of $2,000 per month until the pandemic is over.
Also, a proposal introduced last April called for $2,000 stimulus checks. Under this proposal, every American who is 16 or older and earns less than $130,000 annually, would be eligible for up to $2,000 per month. The proposal also included $500 per child for up to three children, and for six months.
Who needs the stimulus payment most?
Those in support of recurring stimulus checks argue that people are still facing financial hardships even ten months after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered the economy.
"As we look at the coming year, another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities," the letter read.
Also, an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that about one-third of adults are still struggling to pay bills. Further, the analysis found that people impacted the most are low-wage workers, whose job were affected by the pandemic.
Omar said recurring checks should go to those who “need it most and will spend it the quickest" such as "all immigrant workers, refugees, and their families." She also noted that the recurring payments must also go to the older dependents and people over 16 years who are claimed as dependents. Dependents over 16 years were excluded from the first two stimulus checks.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is continuing with its efforts to gain support for the $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Though Biden said that he prefers a bipartisan agreement on the relief package, Democrats are working on getting the stimulus package passed using a special process called budget reconciliation. Such a process would not require any Republican support.