CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

$2000 stimulus check for every American: how many people support the proposal? can it happen?

A petition calling on Congress to send every American recurring monthly stimulus check payments is approaching its goal of three million signatures.

0
$2000 stimulus check for every American: how many people support the proposal? can it happen?

In the early days of the covid-19 pandemic a Denver-area restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin seeing her husband forced out of work and worried her own business would go under due to the pandemic decided to act. She began a Change.org petition calling on lawmakers in Washington to send Americans recurring monthly direct stimulus payments.

The federal government has approved three rounds of stimulus checks and ideas for continued aid to struggling households across the nation similar to Bonin’s have been floated by lawmakers. However, even as the petition approaches its stated goal of three million signatures and Democrats get closer to a deal for President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, no new stimulus payments look set to be in the cards despite the covid-19 pandemic and the damage it’s done being far from over.

$2,000 stimulus checks for adults and $1,000 direct payments for kids

The campaign to provide continuing relief for Americans who found themselves furloughed or losing their livelihoods in the wake of lockdowns and covid-19 restrictions across the US was launched 20 March. Within a month the petition collected over a million signatures and despite lawmakers having passed the first round of $1,200 stimulus checks legislation, Automatic Boost to Communities Act, was introduced to set up a recurring direct payment system for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.

Had the bill passed, it would have sent eligible Americans $2,000 per month until a year after the end of the pandemic or when unemployment was within two percent of pre-pandemic levels, whichever came later. This is similar to what Bonin was calling for, adults should receive $2,000 per month and children $1,000 per month for the duration of the pandemic. Without such a measure the petition argued 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.”

Additional stimulus payments needed but unlikely

It would take another year for the petition to garner its second million signatures, but as covid-19 continued to disrupt people’s lives around the US calls for additional stimulus once again got louder. Just weeks after Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan, scores of lawmakers in both chambers of Congress called on President Biden to include recurring payments as part of the Build Back Better legislation. Additionally, to include automatic triggers for expanded federal unemployment compensation.

In a letter from 21 Senators, they reasoned such measures are necessary because "almost 6 in 10 people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months." Neither automatic triggers nor a fourth round of stimulus checks are currently included in the legislative proposals Democrats plan to pass without any Republican support. The package was originally supposed to be $3.5 trillion in spending over the next ten years, but that top-line number is being pared down to garner the votes of two holdout Senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Other federal assistance possible

Since crossing the two million signatures milestone in May the petition is nearing its goal of three million which would make it one of the top Change.org campaigns. However, despite many American families still struggling in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic, which still continues, no new large scale federal stimulus checks appear to be coming.

If Democrats can get Biden’s agenda over the finish line, households with children could expect more limited financial help. An extension of the enhanced Child Tax Credit for 2021 is included in the Build Back Better bill taking shape in the House. Originally Biden had called for the program, including the advance payments on the tax provision, to be continued through 2025. Although Democrats are not giving into Senator Joe Manchin’s demands that the credit be limited to those families earning less than $60,000 nor a work requirement, there is talk of shortening how long the measure is extended.