An online petition to push the federal government to provide Americans with monthly checks amounting to $2,000 amid the coronavirus outbreak has received over 2.3 million signatures. The petition was started by Stephanie Bonin, a Colorado restaurant owner, in 2020. Bonin points to the ongoing economic struggles that the pandemic caused by shutting down businesses and leaving many people unemployed. She also noted that the economic recovery brought about with more vaccines and reducing coronavirus cases has failed to reach many Americans.
“The true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20% and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care,” she wrote. “These are all reasons that checks need to be targeted to people who are still struggling and that Congress needs to learn from this past year. It took nine months for Congress to send a second stimulus check, and just moments to spend it. Moving forward Congress needs to make recurring checks automatic if certain triggers are met. No more waiting around for our government to send the help we need.”
The petition, as of June 1, 2021, had received a total of 2.24 million signatures, and plenty more are added every day.
Although the push for more stimulus checks continues, the White House has not expressed support for the move. The first check, which amounted to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for people who were married, was approved in March last year. The second stimulus check for $600 was approved in December 2020. The third stimulus push paid up to a total of $1,400 for individuals and up to $2,800 for legally married couples, and the distribution of it started in March 2021.
Although there hasn’t been a fourth direct payment, a number of American families are expected to start receiving their next round of monthly checks in July.