Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation on March 10 that would provide more stimulus money to Americans. The payments would likely be deposited directly into Americans’ bank accounts, as they were under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Motley Fool claims. A quarterly payment would be made to help people cope with rising gas prices.
If This Bill passes, Americans Will Receive More Stimulus Money
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Rep. Ro Khanna of California introduced legislation to provide more stimulus money on March 10. Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, and Sherrod Brown cosponsored the bill.
A new tax would be imposed on large oil companies under the proposed bill. A 50% tax would be levied on the difference between what a barrel of oil costs today, and what it costs on average between 2015 and 2019. Those funds would support stimulus payments.
Individual taxpayers with incomes under $75,000, and married joint filers with incomes under $150,000, would be eligible for the stimulus money. In the current pricing environment, the payments for single filers would amount to $240 annually and for married couples to $360 annually.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a new ban on Russian oil imports, the legislation seeks to address rapidly rising gas prices. When the bill was introduced, the average cost per gallon reached $4.31.
Regardless of the uncertainty overseas, the bill’s sponsors blame the price hikes on the oil companies, who have raised their prices willingly to achieve the recent record profits they have achieved. It is Rep. Khanna’s hope that oil companies will respond by lowering the price of fuel as a result of the new tax.
“The bigger thing is that it’s going to save everyone money,” she explained. “If you’re big oil, and you look at this, you’re not going to want to pay this tax, and so you’re going to be willing to lower prices.”
How Likely will the New Stimulus Bill Will Pass?
There is a low likelihood that this new stimulus legislation will pass, despite support from prominent Democratic representatives and senators. GOP lawmakers did not support the American Rescue Plan Act that authorized stimulus payments last year. Tax hikes have generally been opposed by lawmakers on the right, so they are unlikely to support this one.
In the absence of Republican support, Democrats would need the support of all members of their party to pass legislation. If a Republican filibuster prevented the bill from being passed, the Democratic majority would need to resort to a procedural maneuver known as reconciliation. Most conservative lawmakers on the left have refused recently to provide more stimulus relief through reconciliation, so they’re unlikely to accept this new plan.
Even so, politicians may act if the economy continues to struggle and prices rise.