As of January 27, the Change.org petition has tacked on roughly twenty-five thousand additional signatures. It appears that 4.5 million is the next target. If that goal is eventually reached, it would make the petition one of the most-signed petitions ever on Change.org.
Financial Pain in the Offing
What’s driving the millions of Americans to sign petitions that are calling for more rounds of stimulus checks? Recent data indicate that cases related to the Omicron coronavirus variant and the current red-hot inflation environment are likely to only get worse—and will remain on that trajectory for months or years to come.
If that’s the case, it could amount to even more financial pain for many pandemic-weary Americans.
The petition calls on Congress to support struggling families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for children until the health crisis ends. Stephanie Bonin, the restaurant owner who started the petition, wrote that she is “one of millions of Americans who fear for my financial future because of this coronavirus crisis.”
“With businesses and schools closing across the country to control the spread of this virus, many people have already lost their jobs. Others are being forced to stay home. This is catastrophic for working families like mine,” she continues.
Bonin wrote that “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. Our country is still deeply struggling. … Our restaurant community is wrestling with seeing everything we all have worked so hard for irrevocably changed.”
Stimulus Check Just for Seniors
Another popular stimulus check petition is being circulated by the Senior Citizens League. The group has been campaigning to press Congress to quickly approve a fourth round of stimulus checks that would send $1,400 direct payments to only Social Security program recipients.
According to a recent tweet from the Senior Citizens League, the petition has been signed by more than 95,000 people.
“Social Security benefits are one of the few types of income in retirement adjusted for inflation. But soaring inflation has taken a toll on household finances of retired and disabled Social Security recipients,” reads the petition. “In 2021 Social Security benefits increased by just 1.3 percent, raising the average benefit by only about $20 a month. But about 86 percent of Social Security recipients surveyed say their expenses increased by much more than that amount.”
The petition concludes by saying, “I strongly urge you that now is the time that you must support an emergency $1,400.00 stimulus check to Social Security recipients.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.