Millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, while countless more are grappling with income insecurity. Thankfully, the CARES Act has already provided relief in the form of $1,200 stimulus payments, the bulk of which has gone out in the past few months. But many Americans feel that a single stimulus check wasn’t enough and are itching to get their hands on additional cash to pay bills and tackle non-negotiable expenses.
Unfortunately though, efforts to get that money into Americans’ hands have thus far been unsuccessful. The Democrat-proposed HEROES Act, which calls for additional stimulus cash, is currently stalled in the Senate, and considering that Republican lawmakers have been vocal in their opposition to it, it’s unlikely to get voted in. Of course, that’s just one proposal that’s out there, and while it’s possible that we’ll see another relief package introduced in the coming weeks, here are three reasons why a second stimulus check may not be a part of it.
1. Unemployment fell in May
In April, the U.S. jobless rate reached a bleak milestone — it hit 14.7%, the highest measure on record since the Great Depression. May’s numbers, though still high, came in lower at 13.3%, and that data alone, though skewed to some degree, could drive lawmakers to oppose a second round of stimulus cash on the basis that things are improving and it therefore isn’t necessary.
2. The U.S. economy is reopening
Although many states are reporting an uptick in COVID-19 cases, the country seems to be forging forward with reopening plans. That means more and more jobs are likely to get added as businesses come back to life. As such, it’s easy to make the argument that follow-up stimulus cash isn’t necessary — or at least not yet.
3. Relief money could be earmarked for other purposes
There’s been a lot of focus on stimulus cash ever since it became evident that the initial round wasn’t enough, but some lawmakers feel that relief aid should instead center on encouraging out-of-work Americans to return to the labor force. The Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2020, which calls for a $1,200 re-employment bonus for those who go back to a job, could take the place of a second stimulus check.
Proponents of it argue that if people aren’t motivated to get back into the workforce, we’ll have an even more difficult time recovering from our current recession. Furthermore, reuniting people with a steady paycheck could stimulate the economy in a very meaningful way, thereby eliminating or at least reducing the need for a follow-up round of payments.
Don’t get your hopes up
Recently, President Trump indicated that he expects a generous stimulus bill to pass sometime in July. But whether that bill includes an actual stimulus payment is yet to be determined. Americans who are struggling financially should therefore brace for the possibility that the initial round of stimulus cash they received is, in fact, the only stimulus money they’ll get this year.