The talk this week of a fourth round of stimulus checks may appear counter-intuitive in the wake of a Boston Herald report referencing unspent money from the first round.

According to the newspaper’s report via Internal Revenue Service records, 1.24 million people still haven’t spent their check from March 2020.

The CARES Act, passed that month, delivered to most Americans a $1,200 stimulus check to help during the pandemic. The records show that California leads the country with 123,265 unspent stimulus checks, followed by Florida with 92,018 unspent checks.

In the report, the IRS defined the statistics as “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” by then-President Donald Trump.

Where do lawmakers go with this information?

Progressive Democrats continue to push for a fourth round of stimulus checks, an idea supported by a recent Economic Security Project report that found two more rounds of stimulus checks could keep 12 million more Americans out of poverty. 

Republicans counter that any additional government funding should go toward U.S. infrastructure. 

A recent trend among GOP-led states has seen the plan to eliminate the extra $300 weekly unemployment benefits earlier than originally planned.

“I think there’s all kinds of different ways that we’re looking at. Certainly, repurposing some of those COVID dollars,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told Bloomberg. 

“I’ve been looking at those 21 states that are no longer paying the enhanced unemployment — why don’t we repurpose those dollars to help those folks coming off unemployment get work in an infrastructure plan.”

The White House has dismissed such suggestions.

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