At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the American economy immediately fell into recession, with unemployment spiking to 14.8%, the highest since records began in 1948. In response, the U.S. government passed a series of stimulus packages that, among other things, kept 11 million Americans out of poverty, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
While the immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic are now in the rear-view mirror, another threat to the economy has reared its head in 2022 — inflation, which spiked to its highest levels in 40 years. To help combat the stress this is putting on the finances of Americans, some are calling for additional stimulus. Here’s the current status of both federal and state stimulus packages for summer 2022.
Some Legislators Are Still Pushing for Additional Federal Stimulus
Although overall the American economy has been very strong over the past year, there are signs of weakness that have some federal legislators clamoring for more stimulus. In addition to the skyrocketing inflation rate, which has significantly raised the basic cost of living for most Americans, assistance such as the expanded child tax credit, enhanced unemployment benefits and mortgage assistance programs have all expired. If the economy is headed for a recession, as some economists fear, many Americans will be thrown right back into a world of economic uncertainty.
Against this backdrop, various forms of legislation have been promoted over the past year or so, but none of it has yet to gain any traction. In March 2021, for example, 21 senators signed a letter requesting ongoing, monthly stimulus checks to Americans, but that went nowhere.
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The Biden Administration Hasn’t Promoted Any Additional Stimulus Check Legislation
In March 2022, the Biden administration requested $22.5 billion from Congress to help support the nation’s pandemic response. But even that request didn’t ask for additional direct payments to Americans. Rather, the White House sought $18.25 billion to go to the Department of Health and Human Services and $4.25 billion to go to the State Department and United States Agency for International Development. But this legislation was effectively shut down by the Senate.
In other words, even though the Biden administration has previously been in favor of direct stimulus checks, it is struggling to pass even pandemic-supporting legislation that it views as vital. This being the current political landscape, the chances of a fourth direct stimulus check are unlikely at best at this point.
Some States Are Taking the Initiative
Although there doesn’t appear to be any motion toward a fourth stimulus check on Capitol Hill, some states are picking up the slack. Here are a few of the stimulus initiatives either passed or in process in various states.
Details are still being hammered out, but it seems as if California residents who have a registered car will receive a check of $400 per car owned, up to two, before the end of the year. State legislators are still in a stalemate regarding the details of the plan, but it appears that at least some of the state’s budget surplus will be in the hands of residents before the end of the year.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill in late May to send payments of at least $400 to taxpayers this year. Payments are expected to arrive in September.
Delaware was one of the first states working toward offering relief to state residents, with one-time “relief rebate” payments of $300 sent out to taxpayers who have filed their 2020 state tax return by the end of May.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation to distribute rebate payments of $250 for single filers, $375 for heads of household and $500 for joint filers.
Hawaiian legislators have approved Gov. David Ige’s proposal to send $300 rebates to state residents earning less than $100,000 per year, and $100 rebates to those earning more. Payments might begin processing in late August.
Idaho is another state that made an early move in 2022, distributing $75 rebate payments to full-time Idaho residents in March. Technically, the payments were equal to the greater of $75 or 12% of a resident’s 2020 Idaho state taxes.
Indiana residents started receiving $125 tax rebate payments in May if they filed their 2021 taxes.
Significant stimulus payments of $850 are already on the way to Maine residents with a federal adjusted gross income of less than $100,000 ($150,000 for heads of household and $200,000 for joint filers). Payments began on June 1.
Some frontline workers in Minnesota can expect a one-time payment of $750 in 2022, although the details of the distributions have not yet been released.
In 2021, New Jersey sent qualifying taxpayers a “Middle Class Tax Rebate” of up to $500. In his 2022 budget, Gov. Phil Murphy earmarked additional $500 payments to people who paid taxes using a federal ID number rather than a Social Security number.
Multiple rebates have been approved in New Mexico, including $250 for taxpayers earning under $75,000 annually and a $500 rebate for all taxpayers. The $250 rebates will be issued in July, while the $500 rebates will be sent in two payments, one in June and one in August.
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