Last week, Congress was in session for the first time in about a month—and what millions of cash-strapped Americans are hoping for is that the lawmakers will eventually take a long hard look at the possibility of sending out another round of coronavirus stimulus checks.
Do take note that what polls and surveys have proved over the past year is that the three rounds of stimulus payments approved by Congress have been essential to keeping many Americans financially afloat. And this has become an even larger issue as the latest checks under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan are nearly all disbursed—leaving Americans without more stimulus to rely on.
Despite the lack of any concrete action in Washington, keep in mind that another round of stimulus isn’t entirely off the table.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, during a recent briefing with reporters, told them that “(President Biden) is happy to hear from a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what’s most important to the economy moving forward.”
In a separate briefing, Psaki was open to the ideas of what Congress had to say on the matter. “We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free,” she said.
Recent data are indicating that the previous stimulus funds have done wonders for Americans’ financial health.
According to a recent survey conducted by doxo, it revealed that 95 percent of Americans admitted that stimulus checks helped improve their financial well-being over the past year. Furthermore, about 90 percent said the stimulus helped them between “a little” and “a great deal.”
In addition, roughly nine in ten respondents said they felt confident that the stimulus will help the U.S. economy improve between “a little” and “a great deal,” while 63 percent said their financial health will recover within the next year.
These findings come on the heels of a University of Michigan study that showed the stimulus checks helped many Americans avoid complete financial ruin. The researchers discovered that household food shortages plummeted by 42 percent and financial instability by 43 percent.
“Our analyses thus far have yielded a fairly simple story: throughout the crisis, the level of hardship faced by U.S. households can be directly linked to the federal government’s response,” the study writes.
“The sharpest declines in hardship immediately followed the passage of these two relief bills, coinciding with the delivery of EIPs (Economic Impact Payments), and the gains were greatest among the lowest income households,” it continues.
Another report put together by the Economic Security Project has suggested that more rounds of stimulus could potentially lift as many as twelve million Americans out of poverty.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.