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Congress Is Now Back From Recess: What Might It Mean For Fresh Coronavirus Stimulus Checks?

Since last year, whenever Congress has returned from a long break, there have always been expectations of lawmakers approving fresh stimulus checks. Now that the lawmakers are back from their summer recess, people are starting to get hopeful of fresh coronavirus stimulus checks. This time, however, it is very unlikely that lawmakers would approve new checks as they already have plenty of things to focus on.

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Why Are Fresh Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Unlikely?

Since the start of the pandemic last year, lawmakers have approved more than $3 trillion in emergency spending. Moreover, the unemployment rate has dropped from 8.4% in August 2020 to 5.2% in August 2021.

This means that the economy is now in better shape, and is slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels. Such things, along with the fact that lawmakers already have many things to focus on, including the Afghanistan crisis, reproductive rights, the federal debt ceiling and the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget proposal, make another round of stimulus checks less likely.

Moreover, many other measures are still in place that offer direct assistance to households, such as the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). Also, many lawmakers are pushing for making the expanded CTC permanent.

Other federal aid that is still available is for renters. Of the $46 billion in emergency rental assistance, only about 11% has been distributed so far. Separately, about $10 billion has been set aside to support homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitments.

So, all these stimulus payments, as well as an improving economy, make it unlikely that lawmakers would back fresh coronavirus stimulus checks.

Stimulus Payment From States

Another federal stimulus check may never come, but there are many states that are using the federal funds they got during the pandemic to provide assistance to their citizens.

California, for instance, is sending another stimulus check under the Golden State stimulus program. The state is sending up to $600 in stimulus payment to eligible households, along with $500 in dependent payment.

Colorado is also sending a payment of $375 to those who got a minimum of one unemployment payment between March 15, 2020 and Oct. 24, 2020. Those who qualified for more than $500 per week in base unemployment benefits won’t be eligible for the payment.

Maryland also passed legislation to send stimulus payments of $500 to families and $300 to individuals who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit. New Mexico has also set aside $5 million for those who didn’t qualify for federal stimulus payments.

New York has also come up with a $2.1 billion fund to support undocumented workers who weren’t eligible for federal stimulus money. To qualify for the payment, you have to be a resident of the state, and made less than $26,208 in 2020.

Other states that have come up with stimulus payments are Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas.

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