An online petition calling for recurring $2,000 stimulus checks sent to qualifying American adults has garnered more than 2 million signatures, according to the website change.org.
The petition, started by a Colorado restaurant owner last year, calls 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.”
Stephanie Bonin started the petition after she had to close her Denver restaurant when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Bonin pointed out in her petition that she was one of millions of Americans who are fearful about her financial future.
“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.
“It took nine months for Congress to send a second stimulus check, and just moments to spend it. Another single check won’t solve our problems – people are just too far behind,” explains Bonin.
Republicans have said they will not support a broad package of tax increases and spending proposals, preferring instead more targeted support for infrastructure.
$800 billion in stimulus payments
On Monday, Bonin updated her petition saying that while more people are getting vaccinated and getting back to work, Congress should have a strategy in place in the event of a future economic crisis like the one the COVID-19 pandemic caused.
“I created and many of us initially signed onto this petition because we needed to know that we would have a safety net during this pandemic. Even though we don’t want to think about a next time — let’s make sure we are set up for the next economic disaster.”
Since spring 2020, more than $800 billion in economic impact payments, commonly called stimulus checks, have been sent out to Americans, according to Charles Rettig, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.
The first payments were sent out in March 2020 and included $1,200 for adults and $500 for children. The second impact payment came in December when Americans saw $600 for adults and the same amount for children. The third EIP payment began going out in March and saw adults and children get $1,400 each.
In March, 21 Democratic senators signed a letter calling on President Joe Biden to include recurring monthly payments in his next economic support package. However, Biden could find passing another spending bill difficult, given that no Republican in Congress voted for his first package, the American Relief Plan.
“Grab bag” of tax increases
Biden’s second spending plan is split into two proposals: the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, and the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan.
Many Republicans have decried the trillions of dollars Biden’s next two spending proposals would cost and they put forth a $568 billion package more narrowly focused on transportation infrastructure.
Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told reporters on Monday that he does not expect any Republican to back legislation he says is a $4.1 trillion “grab bag” of tax increases and spending programs proposed by Biden.
In her update, Bonin said that a member of the Economic Security Project, a group that champions guaranteed income for Americans, among other economic issues, will be meeting with U.S. senators on Tuesday to express concern over a potential future economic crisis.
Both the petition and the update are on Change.org, a website where people can start campaigns aimed at bringing publicity to an issue.