Despite the surge in Omicron cases, no one in the government is really talking about a fourth stimulus check. Many Americans, however, still feel the need for more stimulus checks, and this is evident from the continued support for a recurring coronavirus stimulus check petition. This change.org petition recently passed its 3 million signature target.
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Stephanie Bonin, a Denver restaurant owner, started this petition over a year ago. This petition is calling on Congress send recurring stimulus checks of $2,000 per month to adults and $1,000 per month to every qualifying child, until the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
"I'm calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis," the petition says.
Bonin’s petition reached its target of 3 million signatures on January 7. People from every U.S. state have supported this petition. Since hitting its target of 3 million signatures, the petition has gotten almost 20,000 more supporters, as of the time of writing. The petition is now targeting 4.5 million signatures.
Why Are More Stimulus Checks Unlikely?
Even though this petition is one of the top signed petitions ever on Change.org, it is unlikely to culminate into a fourth stimulus check. In fact, it has proven impossible for Congress to reach a consensus on another more popular stimulus relief, the expanded Child Tax Credit, which expired last month.
Though President Joe Biden supports extending the child tax credit for at least a year more, he isn’t able to get the full support of every Democrat in the U.S. Senate. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was the last stimulus bill to be approved, received support only from the Democrats.
Thus, it is believed that any additional relief would also need to be passed on a partisan basis. However, more moderate Democratic senators, who have blocked the legislation expanding the Child Tax Credit, are unlikely to support any bill offering a fourth check or ongoing payments.
Another reason why a fourth stimulus check is unlikely is that the economy is now in much better shape than what it was in 2020. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.9% in December, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In November, the unemployment rate was at 4.2%. The December rate is close to the historic low of 3.5% witnessed immediately before the COVID-19 lockdowns in the spring of 2020.
One more possible reason for the lack of enthusiasm among lawmakers for another stimulus check is the belief that a high level of government spending has been a key driver of rapid inflation.
All this eventually means that a fourth stimulus check is highly unlikely now unless there is a change in the COVID-19 situation, forcing the government to resort to the restrictions seen in 2020.