Fourth stimulus check: What House returning could mean for more payments

Fourth stimulus check: What House returning could mean for more payments
(Image credit: Getty Images)

House lawmakers are returning to work this week, leaving some hopeful that conversations about a fourth stimulus check will resume. 

The House has been out of session for district and committee work periods since late May but will be holding votes up until the July 4 holiday. So far, members of Congress haven’t taken any meaningful action on further stimulus payments despite calls from some lawmakers and advocates for ongoing relief. 

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to President Biden last month requesting that the administration add extended unemployment benefits and recurring direct payments to its American Families Plan, though they did not cite specific dollar amounts. The letter was similar to those submitted by other groups of House and Senate Democrats made earlier this year. 

The administration hasn’t responded to questions about additional stimulus relief since early May, when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “We'll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free.”

This implied the White House, or President Joe Biden's administration, would not draft a bill including a fourth stimulus check as it did with the third stimulus check. Instead it would be up to Congress to bring more stimulus payments to the table.

And now that the House is in session for the first time since May 20, we'll be keeping a close eye on updates or comments pertaining to a fourth stimulus check.

Fourth stimulus check: What are the chances? 

Left-leaning think tanks cited by Democratic lawmakers have suggested that additional stimulus money could lift more Americans out of poverty. 

However, some conservative analysts say that continued stimulus relief, including ongoing unemployment insurance, may disincentivize people from returning to work, especially to lower-wage jobs in restaurants and manufacturing. Republican governors in 22 states have discontinued federal unemployment benefit supplements, citing workforce shortages. 

According to Yahoo Finance, data from the University of Michigan shows that the number of households experiencing financial difficulty and/or food shortages dropped significantly over the course of the spring. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve this week said it would likely raise interest rates sooner than expected, indicating confidence in economic recovery.

Emily Long

Emily Long is a Utah-based freelance writer who covers consumer technology, privacy and personal finance for Tom's Guide. She has been reporting and writing for nearly 10 years, and her work has appeared in Wirecutter, Lifehacker, NBC BETTER and CN Traveler, among others. When she's not working, you can find her trail running, teaching and practicing yoga, or studying for grad school — all fueled by coffee, obviously.