Update on the Stimulus: Could Your Next Check Be $240 Per Year or $100 Per Month?

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Gas prices have been rising across the country, with the national average price of gas reaching $4.19 per gallon, up from $2.90 per gallon last year. Gas price increases have wreaked havoc on household budgets, and lawmakers have taken notice.

Because of the rapidly rising cost of gasoline, a number of legislative proposals have been developed to provide financial relief. However, the amount of assistance provided by these plans varies dramatically, with some suggestions for stimulus aid appearing far more generous than others.

 

Stimulus Check

 

Here’s what you need to know about two potential plans to assist the public in dealing with high gas prices.

 

These are two suggestions for stimulus checks.

The Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax is one stimulus plan proposed by Democrats Ro Khanna and Sheldon Whitehouse.

This bill would levy a tax on oil companies equal to half the difference between today’s prices and the pre-pandemic price of a barrel of oil. Based on current prices, this legislation would result in an additional tax of $45 billion for oil companies.

The new tax would be distributed among taxpayers, with single filers receiving approximately $240 per year and married joint filers receiving $360 per year deposited into their bank accounts or sent via check.

Although this would be helpful, it pales in comparison to another proposal: the Gas Rebate Act of 2022. Democratic Representatives Mike Thomas, John Larson, and Lauren Underwood introduced this bill. During any month when average gas prices exceed $4 per gallon, it would provide $100 per adult and dependent. The $100 payments would be available for the remainder of 2022.

 

Will either plan be carried out?

Both of these proposals would put more money in your pocket, but the likelihood of either passing and being signed into law must be carefully considered.

Currently, each of these plans has been proposed solely by Democrats; they are not bipartisan. Democrats have a slim majority in both the House and Senate, making it difficult for them to pass additional stimulus legislation without Republican support.

In light of exorbitant gas prices, it’s unclear whether the GOP would be willing to take steps to provide direct financial assistance. However, since no Republicans signed on to Joe Biden’s last stimulus bill in 2021, it’s unlikely that bipartisan agreement will be reached.

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This means that unless Democrats gain a larger majority in the upcoming elections in November, no additional stimulus money will be provided, even if there is a clear need for additional funding as gas prices rise.

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