Key point: Biden has big plans for infrastructure and family support spending. However, it is unclear if he would be in favor of large, monthly checks.
It appears that the one hundred sixty-three million $1,400 coronavirus stimulus checks that have been disbursed for this current third round of direct payments aren’t nearly enough for many cash-hungry Americans.
In fact, more than 2.1 million people already have signed a Change.org petition—started by Colorado restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin—that calls for $2,000 recurring monthly stimulus checks to financially support Americans amid the ongoing pandemic. The petition’s goal is to ultimately reach three million signatures.
This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.
“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,” the petition stated.
“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. … 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 left financially ruined for doing our part to keep the country healthy,” it added.
To date, Congress has approved the delivery of three stimulus cash payments—a $1,200 check in April 2020, $600 in December, and the current $1,400 payments under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Bonin, however, criticized the amount of time it has taken Congress to come to an agreement on the stimulus checks.
“Another single check won’t solve our problems—people are just too far behind,” she wrote. “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.”
According to research from the financial services firm TransUnion, about four in ten Americans are still continuing to experience income loss compared to before the start of the pandemic.
Several Washington lawmakers already have taken note of the ongoing financial struggles of many Americans. In late March, more than twenty Democratic senators urged Biden to include recurring direct payments in his “Build Back Better” legislation.
“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,” the senators’ letter stated.
“While we are pleased that the American Rescue Plan included a one-time direct payment and an extension of federal unemployment insurance programs, a single direct payment will not last long for most families. … 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,” it added.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-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. This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.