Many are still feeling the pain of inflation even as some of the pressure eases, but those hoping the government will step in and provide relief in the form of a fourth federal stimulus check may want to start looking elsewhere when it comes to how they'll accommodate the extra costs to their bottom line.

The federal government has not sent out another round of stimulus checks since March 2021, when President Joe Biden gave Americans a third round of relief payments due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Those checks for $1,400 came after an initial two rounds via former President Donald Trump, who sent out relief payments of $1,200 in March 2020 and $600 in December 2020. However, Americans have not seen a federal stimulus check since. This has led to some concerns for those who have been feeling the pinch of inflation in everything from the costs of housing to filling up their cars with gasoline and even when shopping for groceries, as prices skyrocketed throughout 2022.

While some inflation has started to ease in 2023, there will still be a long way to go before things may stabilize again—if they do at all. The Consumer Price Index showed an overall 0.1% decrease month-to-month in December 2022 on goods such as food, energy, commodities, apparel, medicine and other products. But prices were still up overall from a year prior. After dropping steadily ahead of the holidays, gas prices once again began to increase nationwide in the New Year, with AAA reporting an average price of $3.272 a gallon on Jan. 12, and prices have steadily hovered in that area for the last week.

Still, despite all this pressure, and many Americans expressing favor for another round of checks, the government seems hesitant to really go forward with any new payments. Here's what some officials have said about checks in the past which could indicate the thinking about them in the future.

President Biden's Administration Was Firmly Against Another Round Of Checks In Early 2022

In the earliest days of 2022, as debates ensued over whether another round of stimulus checks could be sent out due to the then-surge in new COVID cases from the Omicron variant, a senior Biden administration official told CNN that there were no plans for checks for individuals or even some businesses, as the economy had been improving since the original shutdowns.

"No. There might be something small for restaurants. But the economy is booming, there are millions of open jobs, and we do not believe people should be sitting at home if they are vaccinated and boosted, as most adults are," the official said at the time. "So we are not going to write checks to incentivize people to sit at home, and we are not going to bail out businesses if the economy seems strong."

It was noted at the time that if things changed, the possibility was still on the table, and President Biden did seem open to forms of relief as gas prices hit a peak price last June, however, checks never materialized.

Republicans Are Against Additional Spending

Though they did not perform as well in the 2022 Midterms as they expected, Republicans did regain control of the House of Representatives by a slim majority, which makes the possibility of more relief even less likely to come, as they have been vehemently opposed to additional spending. In fact, they were all against even a third stimulus check when Biden passed his COVID relief package that gave out the third round of checks, as not even one Congressional Republican at the time voted for the bill.

Now, with their slim majority in the House able to potentially block any and all parts of the Democratic agenda, and promises by the newly-elected Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to tackle America's debt, it seems as if stimulus checks and other financial relief will officially die out.

Experts Warn That More Checks Would Make Inflation Worse

In addition to lawmakers, experts have also voiced concern about what more stimulus checks would mean down the line, as the original payments have actually been partially blamed for inflation getting so out of control. While conceding that they might have helped at the time, many have spoken out to say that another round of checks would actually make matters worse for Americans in the long run, even if they provided relief in the short term.

"Handing out dollars in an inflationary environment will only make matters worse by driving prices up further," Beth Akers, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said in September 2022.

Jason Furman, an economics professor at Harvard and the former chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, told Forbes in July 2022 that they would stimulate movement in the economy—but that the stimulation would still create higher prices.

"Stimulus checks would increase demand. At the moment, however, supply is very constrained so any additional demand would just result in higher prices," he said at the time.

However, There Is Some Hope

While officials all seem to be on the same page now when it comes to stimulus checks, Americans could see them again in the future, depending on how the economy is performing. CNBC reported in June that if a recession happened, the government could potentially try and give Americans relief again, as they did during the 2020 COVID recession and the 2001 and 2008 recessions.

"I expect stimulus checks to be used again. They worked," Claudia Sahm, a macroeconomic policy consultant and former Federal Reserve economist said at the time. "The bottom falls out in a recession, so it's important to blunt the fall. Checks do that well."

While the COVID relief checks were more unprecedented being that there were three rounds of payments, they were proven to help at the time, as the first two alone lifted more than 11.7 million Americans out of poverty, and without them, it was likely the economy would have suffered even more than it did.

"In their absence, consumer demand would have likely been lower, threatening larger declines in employment," Zachary Parolin, a research scientist at the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University, told CNBC. "If economic shocks put the economy at risk, then stimulus checks will certainly be a tool that the federal government considers applying."

Representation. A COVID-19 stimulus check. Pixabay