Fourth Stimulus Check Update: Congress Blocks More Funding

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Despite rising inflation and high gas prices, the federal proposal to provide Americans with a fourth economic payment remains blocked in Congress.

In March, California Democratic Representative Mike Thompson announced that he would introduce new legislation titled the Gas Rebate Act of 2022, which would provide energy rebate checks to eligible Americans.

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Representatives John Larson and Lauren Underwood co-sponsored the legislation, which was introduced as gas prices in the United States increased in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“At the pump, Americans are paying the price for Vladimir Putin’s illegitimate invasion of Ukraine,” Thompson stated in introducing the legislation. “Right now, we must collaborate on practical policy measures to alleviate the financial strain on my constituents.”

According to Thompson, the bill would provide qualified Americans with $100 energy rebate checks “for the remainder of 2022 in any month when the national average price of gasoline exceeds $4.00 per gallon.”

According to a press release from Thompson’s office, the bill would follow the same formula as previous Economic Impact Payments, providing “$100 for single taxpayers earning less than $75,000 and tapering off at $80,000” and “$100 for joint taxpayers earning less than $150,000 and tapering off at $160,000.”

Shortly after being introduced in the House of Representatives, the measure was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, where it is now blocked. When the proposal will be put to a vote is unknown.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the US slapped the country’s economy with a slew of sanctions. President Joe Biden issued an executive order prohibiting the purchase of Russian oil in March, precipitating a nationwide increase in gas prices.

“In the last fiscal year, the United States imported nearly 700,000 barrels of crude oil and refined petroleum products from Russia. This action will deprive Russia of billions of dollars in annual revenue generated by American drivers and consumers,” the White House stated following Biden’s executive order.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and America’s prohibition on Russian oil imports, gas prices have remained higher than in previous years, according to AAA data. According to AAA, the national average price of gasoline on Friday, April 29, was $4.159.

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The national average was $2.889 a year ago, according to AAA data. According to AAA data, the national average price of gasoline was $4.244 a month ago.

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