As Central Texas families continue struggling, a fourth stimulus check could be on the way

Published: Jan. 29, 2022 at 5:23 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Lawmakers and advocates are saying the American Rescue Plan is failing to rescue families who have struggled since the start of the pandemic, proposing a fourth and recurring stimulus plan should be put in place.

In Central Texas, Local Realtor Jeremy Fay says two years into the pandemic, most families he’s helped find a home have barely stayed afloat thanks to their stimulus pay. Now, with no new stimulus checks officially coming in, families are getting concerned.

“The harsh reality is that there are a lot of families still enduring hardships,” he said.

“A lot of these are FHA and VA buyers, these are people local in our community. These are our military service members who I try to work with all the time and try to help them qualify for housing. It’s difficult because housing costs continue to rise, costs across the board are going up.”

Lawmakers say the proposal for recurring $2,000 stimulus payment every month would last until the pandemic is over. However, Texas A&M Central Texas Economics Professor Rob Tennant says while a fourth stimulus check is certainly possible, recurring payments isn’t economically feasible.

“They’ll have more money to work with, which could potentially drive inflation further harder and higher, as well as causing more shortages,” he said.

“So, it can create a vicious cycle. It doesn’t mean the suffering of people doesn’t matter; it just means all aspects of this need to be taken into consideration.”

Tennant adds the Biden administration’s focus on infrastructure spending is already a spark for economic growth, betting that an investment in roads, trains and other projects will help get people back to work.

While the likelihood of recurring stimulus payments remains low, Tennant says the best thing that low-income families can do is find better work.

“If you’re in a job that’s not paying very well, I’d recommend looking for a job that pays better because it’s so difficult to find employees right now, that if you’re a good worker and you’re healthy, the world is your oyster,” he said.

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