Polling indicates that a majority of Americans believe the federal government should issue a second round of stimulus checks but largely disapprove of the $600 payments included in the spending package recently approved by Congress.
A CivicScience poll released Monday surveyed more than 2,800 American adults between Dec.18-21 and found that 78% of respondents thought the federal government should approve of a second stimulus payment.
Nearly nine months have passed since the first stimulus checks were issued under the CARES Act. Public support for a second round has grown over the year, as just 59% of respondents backed the idea in May.
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But most Americans said the $600 checks included in this week’s spending package don’t go far enough, according to the poll. Only 7% of respondents surveyed backed the idea while 69% backed stimulus checks of $1,200 or more. Another 21% of respondents thought the federal government should offer between $600 and $1,200 and just 2% backed stimulus checks of less than $600.
Respondents’ current financial situation also influenced the results of the poll, according to CivicScience. Of those polled, 52% overall expected their financial situation to “stay the same” and 20% expected things to “get worse.” But 43% of respondents who said they were unemployed expected their financial situation to “get worse.”
The unemployment rate edged down to 6.7% in November after hitting a record high of 14.7% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (RELATED: How Has Coronavirus Impacted America’s Small Businesses? Here’s What The Data Says)
Congress announced a $900 billion coronavirus relief package and a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill over the weekend. Individuals making $75,000 a year or less would be entitled to receive a direct payment of $600 and couples making $150,000 a year or less will receive $1,200 plus $600 per child.
Both chambers of Congress passed the spending package Monday but some lawmakers expressed reservations about its provisions, according to NPR. Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders teamed up to push for $1,200 payments but the effort ultimately faltered.
President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he would not sign the relief package in its current form, specifically calling for $2,000 stimulus payments and the elimination of “wasteful items” in the bill.