$600 Second Stimulus Checks Still Aren't Enough for Most Americans

A second round of stimulus checks worth up to $600 per recipient undercut what Americans wanted—and further polling suggests the figure is below what many feel they need.

Congress has passed a new COVID-19 relief package worth roughly $900 billion, including another lot of direct payments to assist those plunged into economic turmoil by the pandemic.

The $600 topline payment contrasts with the $1,200 checks sent out after the CARES Act was signed nearly nine months ago.

YouGov asked 2,504 U.S. adults on December 19, prior to the bill being passed, if they thought $600 payments would be "too much, too little, or about right."

The majority of respondents, 70 percent, said too little. The second most common answer was about right, with 17 percent opting for that, while five percent said too much.

Asked what they would most likely do with such funds, 28 percent said they would pay bills. Another 20 percent said they would put it in emergency savings, 17 percent said pay towards debts and 14 percent said it would be used for essentials such as food and hygiene products.

The polling comes after a previous survey by Gallup in August showed the majority of Americans asked backed another stimulus check and most of those who did supported this being of $900 or more.

Separate polling from Data for Progress, conducted December 16 to 17, found most asked supported another payment of $1,200. Of 1,098 respondents asked, 68 percent said they would strongly support that, while 20 percent said they would somewhat support it.

Lawmakers including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have said the $600 is too low, while some Democrats have voiced their desire to push for more stimulus next year.

Democrat figureheads House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) voiced their desire to take further action down the line.

The new agreement comes nearly nine months after the last stimulus package, the CARES Act, was signed off. Lawmakers on each side have looked to shift blame for this delay onto their counterparts across the aisle.

Newsweek has contacted the Congressional leaders who agreed upon the $600 figure in their negotiations for comment.

The continued debate over stimulus, despite a deal having been reached on a new package, comes with confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. having surpassed 18 million throughout the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. There have been nearly 320,000 COVID-19 deaths across the nation.

man wearing mask walks through new york
A man wearing a mask walks along Fifth Avenue during a snow storm in Rockefeller Center on December 16, 2020 in New York City. As the COVID-19 crisis continues, a further round of relief has been approved. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images