Democratic senators from both parties have introduced legislation to expand stimulus cash for the American people on March 10. These payments would be delivered directly to American bank accounts, much to those approved under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The cash would be provided quarterly to help households cope with rising gas prices. If this bill becomes law, Americans will get more stimulus monies.
Legislation to increase stimulus funds was introduced on March 10 by California Rep. Ro Khanna and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Members of the Senate from both parties have signed on as cosponsors.
The debated legislation will add a new tax to large oil companies. Between the current oil price and its average price from 2015 to 2019, 50% of the difference would be taxed. The money obtained would then be used to pay for stimulus payments.
Individuals earning less than $75,000 per year and married couples filing jointly earning less than $150,000 per year will be eligible to receive stimulus money. Based on current pricing, single taxpayers would pay $240 per year while married couples would pay $360 per year.
At $4.31 a gallon the day it was proposed, the bill addresses rising gas prices. New restrictions on Russian oil imports owing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to lead to further price increases.
Oil companies willfully raising prices to maintain their recent record profits, regardless of worldwide concerns, are blamed by the bill’s writers for price increases.
Rep. Khanna said the goal is for oil companies to cut fuel costs in response to the higher charge.
“An essential element is that it will save everyone money,” she said. According to the report, when large oil companies contemplate this, they will not want to pay the tax and will be inclined to decrease prices.
Is the new stimulus measure possible to pass?
Despite key Democratic congress members and senators’ backing, the chances of this new stimulus measure becoming law are slim. Republicans opposed the American Rescue Plan Act, which allowed the stimulus funds made last year. And because Republicans have always opposed tax increases, they are unlikely to accept this one.
Without Republican assistance, Democrats would require unanimity among their party members to enact legislation. And they would be forced to employ a procedure known as reconciliation if a Republican filibuster blocked the measure from proceeding.
Some of the more conservative members of Congress on the left have been reluctant in recent months to grant more economic assistance through reconciliation and hence are unlikely to support this new idea.
Nonetheless, with ongoing economic upheaval and rising prices, lawmakers may take measures to assist – and this bill provides one such alternative.