Support for another round of stimulus checks continues to grow, with at least 80 Democrats in Congress in favor of it. However, one recent piece of data on unspent checks could undermine the efforts of these Democrats to push Congress to approve another round of coronavirus stimulus checks.
This data (obtained by The Boston Herald) is from the IRS itself and claims that about 1.24 million stimulus checks sent under the CARES Act remain unspent. Congress and then President Donald Trump approved the first stimulus checks of up to $1,200 in March. The total amount of all the unspent checks is about $1.7 billion.
Since March of last year, Congress approved two more rounds of stimulus checks. As of now, there is no information on the number of checks unspent from the last two rounds.
California tops the list of unspent stimulus checks with 123,265 checks, followed by Florida with 92,018 checks. Others in the top five are Texas, New York and Pennsylvania. Massachusetts has the highest unspent checks in New England with 27,689 checks, followed by Connecticut at 13,353.
This data of unspent stimulus checks as of March 30, includes “the number of people who either refused to accept, paid back or not cashed the stimulus checks they received from the IRS as a result of the CARES Act…,” the IRS said. The agency gave no information if the checks were sent to dead people.
Do unspent checks undermine efforts for another check?
The fact that coronavirus stimulus checks amounting to $1.7 billion are still unspent goes against the chances of another stimulus check. Moreover, this number could rise significantly if it includes the data (not available as of now) of the second and third round.
Meanwhile, some Democrats in Congress continue to push for more stimulus checks. According to Newsweek, at least 80 Democrats in Congress are in favor of another stimulus check. These 80 Democrats include 21 Senate Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Most recently, seven members of the influential House Ways and Means Committee wrote a letter to Biden in support of more direct payments. The letter claims that more stimulus checks could keep about 12 million out of poverty.
"Families and workers shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll have enough money to pay for essentials in the months ahead as the country continues to fight a global pandemic and recession," the letter reads.
The White House recently suggested that another round of stimulus checks could prove costly. To address the cost issue, the House Ways and Means Committee members suggested tying direct payments to economic parameters, such as the unemployment level.
For now, there are no official talks that we know of, on other stimulus checks. Biden is currently more focused on the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, focusing on infrastructure, and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, focusing on education, child care and paid family leave.