White House press secretary says clear stimulus checks are no longer a priority

The Biden administration will not be pushing for a fourth stimulus check.

When President Joe Biden campaigned for the presidency, one of his signing campaign pledges was a $ 1,400 stimulus check. The president kept his promises, signing the American Rescue Plan Act in March and authorizing a third stimulus payment to follow the first two that were issued under the Trump administration.

Biden was able to move quickly to deliver the most recent stimulus payout because he had broad support on the left – and the stimulus checks are very popular among the public.

But despite a number of Democrats and millions of Americans calling for a fourth check, the Biden administration has now made it clear that fighting for another direct payment is not a priority.

Biden has more ideas for getting Americans back to work

White House press secretary Jen Psaki explained the White House’s stance on stimulus checks on Thursday.

“He’s happy to hear a range of ideas on what would be most effective and what is most important for the future of the economy,” Psaki said. “But he also came up with what he thinks is most effective in the short term in getting people back to work, in getting through this pivotal time, and also in making us more competitive in the long term.”

These plans that Psaki referred to include the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. Among other things, these plans invest in infrastructure, health care and education.

But despite several Democrats urging the president to include stimulus checks in his latest plans, the White House has refused to do so. And the cost is probably one of the main reasons. In fact, when asked about the additional direct payments earlier in the month, Psaki said Biden hasn’t ruled them out, but the price may have been too high. “We will see what members of Congress offer, but these are not free,” she said.

Biden is already struggling to rally Republicans to one of his most recent proposals, and one of the main points of contention is the price and scope of the legislation. Given that Republicans were opposed to the third stimulus check and already felt the administration’s infrastructure and employment plans are too costly, adding stimulus checks to the mix would likely just put a deal together. even more out of reach.

While Democrats could push the legislation forward without right-wing support, their options for doing so are limited. Republicans control 50 of the 100 seats in the US Senate and can obstruct the legislation, which would mean it is stopped in its tracks with no 60 votes to move forward.

While Democrats can use a process called reconciliation to pass bills that cannot be obstructed, they would need the unanimous support of the 50 Senators who meet with them – and Vice President Kamala Harris would need to vote to break the tie. But there is a limit to the number of times this procedural maneuver can be used. And some of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate are pushing for bipartisan legislation, rather than a bill passed through reconciliation along party lines.

It is not clear whether a bipartisan agreement will happen or whether a bill can go through reconciliation. But in either case, the chances of an additional stimulus check being included are very low – especially with Psaki making it clear that Biden believes there are better ways to help American families besides sending more money. cash payments to their bank accounts.

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