Support for monthly $2,000 stimulus checks for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to swell online, with more than 2.6 million Americans now pushing the Biden administration and Congress on the idea in a handful of Change.org petitions.
Congress isn’t likely to approve more stimulus checks anytime soon — if at all. But a petition calling for recurring payments, posted more than a year ago by Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin, has 2.3 million supporters as of Sunday morning. Another petition that kicked off last year has picked up steam and is approaching 82,000 supporters. At least four other petitions have gained between 28,000 and 73,000 signatures.
“Middle Americans are the heart and soul of our country,” wrote Tyson Su, whose petition to the U.S. Senate now has 63,780 on board. “As the government has ordered a lockdown during this pandemic, our economy has lost tens of millions of jobs and we are suffering from a deep economic crises. We understand that this lockdown was needed to save lives and we’ve watched as big business has been bailed out with trillions of our tax paying dollars.”
The petition calls for “at least $2,000 per month throughout the crisis and for three months after it,” for all unemployed Americans 16 and older who earn less than $130,000 annually. The petition also pushes the feds to provide full rent and mortgage payment forgiveness throughout the pandemic.
All told, at least 2,625,614 have signed the top petitions calling for $2,000 in recurring payments.
Bonin in a May update said the “country is still deeply struggling,” and that economic recovery from previous stimulus packages hasn’t reached enough Americans. Without recurring payments during the pandemic, she argued, “laid-off workers, furloughed workers, the self-employed and workers dealing with reduced hours will struggle to pay their rent or put food on the table.”
With the economy reopening as COVID-19 vaccination continues to ramp up, the checks remain unlikely despite online support and the backing of a few dozen Democratic senators and House members.
Progressives, including Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and others in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, say the three one-time payments approved since March 2020 simply aren’t enough to help sustain working families coping with job loss, food and housing insecurity sparked by the pandemic.
More than 167 million Americans have received third-round stimulus checks for a combined total of $391 billion, the Internal Revenue Service announced in late May.
While President Joe Biden has called for more payments to parents and extensions of tax credits to tens of millions of Americans, he has not called for further direct stimulus checks. The White House has punted the issue to Congress as it eyes nearly $4 trillion in combined spending — far more than Republicans want to invest — on jobs, infrastructure, education and families.
©2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit masslive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.