Fourth stimulus check – New data backs push for more Covid cash but lawmakers divided on rolling out another payment

AS WASHINGTON tosses around the prospect of a fourth stimulus like a political hot potato, data in a recent report shows the previous aid offset widespread hardship brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Both food scarcity and financial duress dropped in 2020 and into 2021 thanks to the first two rounds of stimulus aid, according to a report published by researchers at Poverty Solutions of the Census Bureau study.

“We believe the success of the federal government’s relief measures may be due to the speed, breadth, and flexibility of its broad-based approach, primarily relying on cash transfers,” the researchers wrote in the report.

As the federal government's faucet began flowing to reach the neediest back in late 2020 and then again this past March – the American recipients weren’t frivolous. 

Rather, they spent the checks – amounting to $600 and then $1,200 – on necessities like food and shelter. 

The third round checks increased to $1,400.

The study found that food insufficiency fell by over 40 percent between December 2020 and April 2021. 

When it came to rates of financial instability the federal funds helped account for a 45 percent ease; and reports of depression symptoms fell 20 percent. 

Low-income households were the bracket that saw the greatest turnaround once the stimulus checks started to arrive.

Despite the heralding success of the stimulus checks, there remains a partisan divide in Washington. 

As President Biden’s $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan has begun rolling out the third round of stimulus checks the debate on whether to go for four or not persists. 

Notably, not one GOP lawmaker voted to pass the president's package after three votes.

In a letter sent to President Biden back in March, 10 congress members warned the Commander in Chief to not repeat the mistakes that caused the “Great Recession” and team up with them in “support of recurring direct checks and extended unemployment insurance benefits to support Americans who are still struggling during the pandemic.”

A second letter followed with 21 Democrats: “We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan,” they wrote, according to The Hill.

President Biden hasn’t led on whether he’s in favor of a fourth check, but last week he did acknowledge the importance of financial help to Congress members. 

The president said: "We’ve already sent more than $160 million checks out the door. It’s making a difference.

"For many people, it’s making all the difference in the world."

A petition by citizens calling for the recurring payments has garnered more than 2.3 million signatures and 80 Democrats in Congress support direct payments.

The opposition to more money giveaways is stiff. 

Back in May, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the need. 

“I can’t imagine the economy is going to need a fourth-round [of stimulus checks],” he told WEVV. 

“But they are putting together this so-called ‘infrastructure package,’ which will include more borrowed money and big tax increases in the most productive parts of our economy.

“This economy is ready to grow. People have been locked up for a year; it’s going to take off like a rocket and it doesn’t need any help from borrowed money or higher taxes.”

Read our stimulus checks live blog for the latest updates on Covid-19 relief…

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