Will reconciliation bill offer fourth coronavirus stimulus checks?

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Public support for another round of stimulus checks might be growing, but that is no guarantee that Congress will pass another stimulus payment. In fact, chances of a fourth stimulus check are very slim. Probably one last hope for another round of coronavirus stimulus checks was the reconciliation bill, but that also may not offer stimulus checks, and there are valid reasons for that.

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Why doesn’t reconciliation bill include coronavirus stimulus checks?

A $3.5 trillion reconciliation proposal was unveiled recently. This proposal includes many provisions that failed to find a place in the infrastructure plan.

Some of the popular measures that didn’t make it to the infrastructure bill, include universal pre-K, free community college, and paid family leave. These measures are now part of the reconciliation proposal.

However, one provision that is notably absent from the reconciliation package (and was not part of the infrastructure bill either) is the stimulus check. Though Senator Bernie Sanders and other Democrats didn’t say anything about why the reconciliation package didn’t include stimulus checks, the proposal itself offers a few hints on why it excluded stimulus checks.

One such hint is that many of the measures of the reconciliation proposal would send money directly to families. For instance, the proposal includes funds to make the changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to be permanent.

Also, the proposal carries a provision that would ensure families don’t pay over 7% of their income for childcare. Moreover, the reconciliation package proposes establishing a paid federal family leave program.

All such provisions enjoy wide support from the public, as well as from some of the lawmakers, because these measures offer more long-lasting support to families in comparison to one-time stimulus checks.

Possibly this is the reason why the reconciliation proposal doesn’t focus on stimulus checks.

There is a little chance of another stimulus check

There is still some time before the reconciliation bill could become law. So, during this time, if the scenario changes with regards to the economic progress (the delta variant is posing a threat in some areas), lawmakers may make another round of stimulus checks a priority.

For the reconciliation bill to be passed, Congress first needs to approve a budget resolution, which carries instructions for the committees to propose changes to the annual budget.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hope to get the budget resolution approved before the August recess, according to New York Magazine. This would ensure that the staff gets enough time to incorporate changes proposed by the committees into the reconciliation proposal, as well as make the proposal ready for a vote when members return after the recess.

Meanwhile, public support continues to grow for more stimulus checks. A change.org petition asking for regular stimulus checks until the pandemic ends, has already got more than 2.7 million signatures (and is aiming for 3 million signatures).

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