People have long been calling for a fourth stimulus check, but so far, lawmakers haven’t shown any intentions of doing so. However, now, a House Democrat has called on Congress to pass another COVID-19 relief package, raising chances of a new coronavirus stimulus check next year. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a progressive freshman Democrat from New York, is citing the rising number of COVID-related deaths and the growing threat of Omicron as a reason to approve another stimulus package.
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House Democrat Calls For Another Stimulus Package
In a letter to House Democratic leadership, Bowman requested Congress to pass a new COVID-19 relief package. The letter was shared first with CNN.
"We now lost 800,000 American lives to COVID 19 — double the number we lost in World War 2. This number is shocking, and cannot continue to climb without another federal intervention," Bowman says in the letter.
Further, Bowman notes that the country’s defense budget is $770 billion annually, but “we are not doing enough to defend ourselves against a global pandemic that is killing us directly and indirectly through the mental health crisis it has created."
Talking about what the new relief package should include, Bowman says it should focus on addressing how the pandemic is affecting kids and their mental health. He suggests establishing a bereavement fund for children who lost a primary or secondary caregiver directly or indirectly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Further, Bowman also wants the stimulus package to cancel federal student loans, cancel past rent and mortgage payments, reinstate the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, renew funding in education and more.
“The pandemic has and will continue to change us for years to come. We need to take action now, and the surest way to do that in Congress is to exercise our power of the purse and direct much-needed funds to our children, families, and communities," he says.
Though Bowman makes no mention of giving direct stimulus checks, the provisions he wants the package to include would serve the purpose of stimulus checks.
This is not the first time Democrats have called for another stimulus package. When President Biden approved the $1.9 trillion stimulus package in March, many Democrats believed that more government aid is needed to support the recovery of the economy and the people.
Last week, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra also hinted that his department might need more money. Of the $50 billion that the department got in March for testing, it is left with $10 billion.
“Are we going to have more than $10 billion worth of needs and costs on Covid, especially in regards to testing? There's a strong chance we will, depending on, again, where Omicron takes us," Becerra told reporters.
As of now, there are no more talks on another COVID-19 relief package or a new coronavirus stimulus check next year. However, if Omicron threatens to get bigger, the calls for more stimulus money will get stronger.