Ayelet Sheffey, Joseph Zeballos-Roig
A petition for $2,000 monthly incentive checks has just passed 3 million signatures.
Americans have received three rounds of direct payments totaling $1,400 during the pandemic.
But additional payment rounds are not on the table as the economy continues to recover.
Stimulus checks were very popular during the pandemic — and 3 million Americans want them to keep coming.
A Change.org petition for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks surpassed 3 million signatures Monday, CNBC first reported. Stephanie Bonin, a restaurant owner, created the petition two years ago, and reaching the milestone on Monday reflected the severe financial impact the pandemic has had and continues to have on Americans across the country.
“I think that’s what 3 million people are saying, which is, ‘We just need certainty. We need to have something that we can plan month after month,'” Bonin told CNBC.
Specifically, the petition calls for $2,000 monthly payments for adults and $1,000 monthly payments for children “immediately” and for the duration of the pandemic.
As an Insider before reportedGiving a 4th and 5th stimulus check to Americans could lift 12 million Americans out of poverty, according to the Economic Security Project. That would also help close the imbalances in poverty, income and wealth between white Americans and Americans of color.
Some lawmakers and economists agree. In March 21 Senate Democrats sent a letter Biden urged him to make recurring stimulus payments linked to economic conditions during the pandemic, and more than 150 economists wrote a open letter by 2020 to support recurring payments as an “essential tool” to ensure economic security in the US.
A group of Republicans and Democrats are in the early stages from drafting another coronavirus relief bill, though it would likely narrowly target restaurants and other small businesses. It’s unclear if it will get enough political support to become law.
Yet there are no more direct payments on the table, making the chance of a new check smaller than ever. The Biden administration says the economy is recovering with millions of new jobs, after bottoming out in early 2020.
Congress passed a third round of outright payments totaling $1,400 early last year as part of President Joe Biden’s stimulus bill. But the White House has since articulated that it will be up to lawmakers whether more checks go to Americans, making them unlikely due to resistance from the weary lawmakers on both sides.
“Depending on how long we see this big rise in new variant cases, that will no doubt affect how people view safety net issues,” Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden told Insider last week.