More than two million people have signed onto an effort that calls on Congress to deliver $2,000 monthly stimulus checks to eligible Americans until the pandemic is over.
The Change.org petition, created by Colorado restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin, directly addresses the House and the Senate, urging both congressional chambers to draft a bill that would provide “$2,000 payments for adults and $1,000 payment for kids” until the pandemic subsides.
“I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis,” Bonin wrote on the petition. “Otherwise, 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.”
Bonin added, “We need immediate checks and recurring payments so that we can keep our heads above water. Congress needs to make sure that we won’t be financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy.”
Eligible Americans have received three rounds of stimulus payments since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The most recent direct payment was authorized under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, where recipients saw $1,400 checks, some of which are still being sent out by the IRS.
Former President Donald Trump also signed off on stimulus payments last year, as eligible Americans received $1,200 from the first round of federal aid and $600 from the second.
“Another single check won’t solve our problems—people are just too far behind,” Bonin wrote on the petition. “Like we’ve been saying from the beginning of this pandemic, people need to know when the next check is coming. And the best thing our government can do right now is send emergency money to the people on a monthly basis.”
The growing support for the petition comes as a group of congressional Democrats are calling on the White House to pass recurring payments, arguing that the first three rounds of direct relief were not enough to help Americans crawl out of the financial turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) led the House’s effort for recurring payments in January, arguing in a statement to the president with more than fifty colleagues, “A one-time payment of $2,000 is simply not enough. The American people are counting on us to deliver transformative change, and we need to meet the moment by delivering monthly payments of $2,000.”
Several Senate Democrats have also pushed Biden to support recurring direct payments, citing the impact of the crisis.
In a letter signed by twenty-one Senators, the lawmakers wrote to Biden saying, “We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan.”
“This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions,” the Senate Democrats wrote.
Democratic lawmakers who joined the effort include Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), as well as Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who caucuses with Democrats.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.