A petition for $2,000 monthly incentive checks is now one of the most signed petitions on Change.org, but it is unlikely to influence lawmakers on the matter.
Stephanie Bonin, a restaurant owner in Denver, created the petition in 2020 as the pandemic kicked in and businesses had to shut their doors. The petition called for monthly payments of $2,000 for adults and $1,000 for children to provide stability to families during the pandemic and reached its goal of 3 million signatures on Friday.
People from every state have signed the petition, and while it is one of the most signed petitions on Change.org, 3 million signatures is just a fraction of the total US population. More than 258 million adults live in the United States, according to the Census Bureau, and nearly 67 percent of those adults voted in the 2020 election.
So 3 million signatures is only representative of about 1 percent of the U.S. vote population — a drop in the ocean for lawmakers, especially when democrats are already fighting to get other legislation passed.
Democrats are focused on getting the Build Back Better Act, a social spending package, passed, and the White House has already said it will be a priority when lawmakers return in 2022. While most of the caucus is on board, Senator Joe Manchin has said he will vote no to the current bill and senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly Didn’t commit to vote yes either.
Without every Democrat on board, the package needs Republican support, something the package probably won’t get. Republicans were not in favor of the third stimulus check, which was sent in early 2021, and Democrats are unlikely to launch a fight over stimulus checks.
However, Bonin could still get a win if Congress passes the Build Back Better Act. The social spending package would extend the monthly payments for child tax credits until the end of 2022. While it wasn’t quite a stimulus check like the previous outright payments, Bonin considered it in a similar vein because they are still monthly payments that families can count on.
“We schedule an x amount coming in for our paychecks and an x amount going out for our bills and that’s what drives a monthly check,” Bonin said. news week in July. “We need to plan for monthly security.”
As stimulus checks seemed less and less likely, Bonin began turning her attention to expanding the expanded child tax credit. She started another petition especially for people who wanted to show their support for continuing the monthly child tax credit payments, and it has collected more than 75,000 signatures in two weeks.
If Build Back Better succeeds in January, families may be able to receive two payments in February.