Growing support for more stimulus checks, but will it be enough?

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The new $908 billion stimulus proposal continues to gain more momentum within Congress.

In one of the most unexpected moves of this stimulus bill saga, Pelosi and other top Democrats offered support for this bill as a basis for negotiations.

That was one of the most encouraging moments we have seen over the course of months and is one major reason why you should feel optimistic about a deal getting done, maybe even this month.

Unfortunately, the stimulus checks have been left out of the deal.

At least for now.

We know that Biden has come out in support of including stimulus checks.

But we’ve also heard from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  stated:

“If people don’t get UI [Unemployment Insurance] assistance, and if they don’t get a stimulus check, then relief isn’t going to be felt in their lives, not in a substantive way.”

“So will I support resources to hospitals and schools and firefighters? Absolutely. But I am extremely concerned that it’s not going to solve the immediate problems that people have.”

AOC has been one of the most vocal supporters of stimulus relief so her support came as no surprise.

However, we also saw support from Republican senator Josh Hawley.

“I will gladly work w/ @AOC and anyone else who wants to help working families. Families and working people in need should be the FIRST consideration in COVID relief, not last,” tweeted Hawley.

There were always signs that many Republicans were pretty open to passing more stimulus checks and they even included them in their $1 trillion bill that was proposed over the summer.

So it’s very possible that the support from Republicans is currently there for more stimulus checks.

The biggest hurdle will probably be whether or not lawmakers feel the checks are necessary.

There are a lot of strong indicators of recovery including a dropping unemployment rate, rising GDP, and encouraging consumer spending habits.

Dean Baker, chief economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, doesn’t even think that stimulus checks will be needed as they were last spring.

“Most people actually aren’t hurting right now. That doesn’t minimize at all the fact that a lot of people are hurting really, really bad,” Baker said.

But “if you’re talking about a limited pot of money, it doesn’t make sense to give $1,200 to a lot of people who are basically doing just fine.”

Overall, I think there is very little doubt that another stimulus bill will get passed and it’s looking more likely that something could get passed as soon as this month.

The biggest question is what will happen with stimulus checks?

We are in an awkward stage where economic indicators might suggest stimulus checks are not needed on the same scale they were before.

This could result in a very targeted approach for stimulus checks based on income which was something that had been proposed over the summer.

At the same time, if more Republicans share the views of Republican senator Josh Hawley above, it might be easier than some expect to pass more stimulus checks even with a Republican controlled Senate.

We’ll have to see how it plays out.

H/T

Related

Biden: Stimulus checks still in play

McConnell says “compromise is within reach”

New proposal would require vaccination to receive stimulus checks

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