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Here’s why you might not get another stimulus check

Some members of Congress want more recurring payments. Better tell that to people who never picked theirs up

IRS issued stimulus checks.
President Donald Trump’s name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio.
Eric Gay, Associated Press

There’s a new major reason why you might not receive a fourth or fifth stimulus check in 2021 — millions of Americans haven’t even picked up their first round of payments.

Will there be a fourth stimulus check?

Congress could be discussing another round of stimulus checks this week as demand continues to climb for another round of payments, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “Now that Congress is meeting once again, discussions surrounding another stimulus payment are likely,” per Yahoo Finance.

Some lawmakers have called for another round of stimulus checks, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But other lawmakers have argued that “stimulus money should be lower on the agenda” because the country’s economy is recovering well from the pandemic, according to CNET.

Did people spend their checks?

Recent data from the Internal Revenue Service obtained by The Boston Herald show that there are 1,245,339 stimulus checks that have not been spent. States like California, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania lead the pack for unspent checks, The Boston Herald reports.

  • The IRS told The Boston Herald the data show “the number of people who either refused to accept, paid back or not cashed the stimulus checks they received from the IRS as a result of the CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020.”

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget recently said there is more than $1 trillion of stimulus check money that hasn't been spent.

  • “Some of the money has not been spent due to slow or low demand,” the organization said, according to The Boston Herald.

Why a fourth check is unlikely?

U.S. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said there shouldn’t be more stimulus payments because there’s already so much money still unclaimed.

  • “There’s over a trillion dollars of money unspent from previous (coronavirus) relief bills ... still sitting in a bank account,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Paul Diego Craney, spokesman for the MassFiscal Alliance, told The Boston Herald something similar.

“To me it means if people wanted to get those checks, they’d find a way to obtain them,” he told The Boston Herald. “What is fairly clear is Massachusetts needs to open up 100% and get back to normal.”