Update on the Fourth Stimulus Check: New Payments Are Urged in Place of Other Discounts

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As Americans continue to feel the financial pinch of rising grocery and gas pump prices, some lawmakers are considering novel ways to assist their citizens, with one state governor proposing a new stimulus payment in lieu of a more traditional type of assistance when it comes to fuel prices.

Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota announced this week in a spending plan that he wants lawmakers to authorise a larger rebate check for residents rather than a gas tax holiday. His proposal includes direct payments of $500 to adults earning less than $164,400 per year and $1,000 to couples earning less than $273,470 per year. The $2 billion idea would be in lieu of a House Democratic proposal to suspend the state’s 28-cent-per-gallon gas tax during the summer.

 

Stimulus Check (4)

 

A FOX affiliate, a gas tax holiday would provide residents with a slower form of relief, with those with a 15-gallon tank in their vehicle needing to fill up 119 times before saving the same $500 from the proposed checks. This is why Walz prefers the idea of a rebate check, which would provide families with more immediate relief and additional cash to fill up their tanks—freeing up one portion of their household budgets.

“You might get quite a few fill-ups out of $1,000,” he explained. “I believe that getting this money into the hands of people before to summer would make a significant difference. Additionally, it is fiscally responsible.”

Walz is not alone in advocating for another sort of stimulus payment in response to rising gas prices, since Americans in the lowest income levels have been struggling to keep up with increased expenditures due to inflation. Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, asked the government to assist those families with another payment in a column for CNN, and Americans have long pleaded for additional stimulus assistance.

Congress is also considering ways to assist Americans with rising costs, with Rep. Ro Khana (D-Calif.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introducing a new proposal that would increase taxes on the largest oil companies in the country, with the proceeds being redistributed into a round of quarterly stimulus payments to individuals earning less than $75,000 annually or married joint filers earning less than $150,000.

Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has also suggested a Family Security Act, which would provide qualified families with payments similar to those provided under the Expanded Child Tax Credit. If passed into law, these payments would provide eligible families with $350 per month for children ages 0-5 and $250 per month for children ages 6-17. Families would get a maximum monthly stipend of $1,250.

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Americans are feeling the pinch on gas costs, despite the fact that the average price per gallon has decreased over the last week. While the previous average price per gallon in the United States was $4.32, the current average is $4.26. This is nevertheless a significant increase in pricing from the start of 2021, when demand was marginally lower due to the COVID-19 epidemic. According to the United States Energy Information Administration, the average price of gasoline per gallon in March 2021 was $2.81.

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