How will Americans spend new pandemic relief checks?

As Congress debates another round of pandemic relief, ABC News’ Elizabeth Schulze looks at how Americans have spent the first two rounds of checks.
4:52 | 02/25/21

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Transcript for How will Americans spend new pandemic relief checks?
Now to Washington where house Democrats are moving forward on a vote Friday on present Biden's nearly two trillion dollar comic relief package the plan includes a third round of stimulus checks this time Bertha to 14100 dollars each. Millions of Americans have used the first two payments to bind daily essentials and pay bills during the pandemic but oh saving checks instead of spending on so where when another round of checks likely though here's ABC's Elizabeth shells and. For 27 year old and Vontae Copeland this 600 dollars stimulus check came just in time our routes should share charters starter it's. A special education assistant and assistant athletic director at a high school in Minneapolis Copeland worked became unpredictable. Has classrooms when virtual so he relied on his stimulus money to help pay the bills the grand. True home. Mark car payment how many ups and downs that they're being over the past year financially and and with your top committing more balanced and oops this year. Or not working I'm not it would do anything you. The bill we're still Carmen. Census Bureau data shows 80% of households earning less than 75000. Dollars per year. Initially use their stimulus checks to pay for expenses. With food utilities household supplies and rent at the top of the list Copeland says for Americans like him struggling to make ends meet the direct payments are a lifeline. They're they're working a small wounds are in all of their money goes to fu K guess and we. Household appliances then you're left with literally chart changed. The federal government has sent two rounds of tax exempt checks to Americans in the past year. 12100 dollars last spring and another 600 dollars at the end of the year for individuals making up to 75000. Dollars. Our couples earning up to 150000. New data from the Commerce Department showed the most recent checks contributed to a spike in retail sales in January. In categories from furniture to appliances to close and now president Biden promises additional 14100 dollar payments as part of his one point nine trillion dollar covad relief package. We will finish the job of getting a total of 2000 dollars. In cash relief to people who needs them most. The 600 dollars already appropriated is simply not enough. It would be difficult to find a worse use of money did an economic relief and stimulus plan. Michael strain is the director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute a conservative think tank. He says the next round of checks will cost an additional half a trillion dollars. I am concerned about what might happen when. The government spends another one point nine trillion dollars of borrowed deficit finance money. He makes a case for more targeted stimulus pointing to data showing that while lower income households spend their stimulus Jack's. Higher income families were more likely to save or invest than he says but the White House says it's not just low income households in need of help. I think what's important to it to the president is that we don't lose sight of people in the middle of the income scale who continue to struggle. With both a health and economic fallout from this crisis and these checks target them effectively and efficiently. Some Americans are also using the money to pay off debts. Despite the economic downturn Experian says US credit card debt actually. He could dream about come under. Talking about her knowledge and Barack thank you could pay out there alone because. That our capital Alina Kenya are used her stimulus checks toward her credit card bills and more than 25000. Dollars in student loans. She says she would've preferred to spend them entirely on local businesses. But couldn't pass up a chance to chip away at the pile of debt. I think a lot of people wanted to help and hurt the economy about it. It really get her coat we're not bothered at Wayne new strain says paying off debt isn't the main purpose of the checks. They're not good at gotten spend money so that defeats the stimulus. Goal. Police say to critics who say he's checks are waste on we should be giving out this money right now. With. Say. Start warranty or your. For two weeks. Throw away. 50% of youth who. 50%. The household apart states. About acorda tank but guess you'd car for about two weeks can still try to alleviate it. Since the futures quote com live in his shoes it's Amerigroup merits tortures you through just an hour. Took three weeks and then tell me if that's the recipients. For ABC news live final officials meet in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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