Fourth Stimulus Check Update: Group Pushes for Legislation; Petition for Monthly $2K Grows

A senior citizens advocacy group is pushing Congress to deliver legislation that would provide a fourth stimulus check of $1,400 to Social Security recipients in the country. That campaign comes as a petition calling on monthly cash payments of $2,000 for the wider population nears 2.9 million signatures.

The nonpartisan Senior Citizens League (TSCL) has spent September collecting signatures for a petition that calls for congressional lawmakers to pass another round of $1,400 "emergency stimulus checks" to assist an estimated 69 million Social Security beneficiaries—including retirees, widows and widowers, disabled adults and their dependents—in coping with the "unprecedented inflation year."

"We're proposing this stimulus because of the difficulty so many are having with record setting inflation in a year when Social Security benefits were only increased by 1.3 percent in 2021," Mary Johnson, a policy analyst at TSCL, told Newsweek.

After a month of signature gathering, the group will contact members of Congress in early October with the number of Social Security recipients from their districts or states who have signed the petition.

coronavirus stimulus checks petition delta $1,400 cash
President Joe Biden holds a roundtable meeting with Americans who will benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic relief checks that are a part of the American Rescue Plan on March 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

"Social security benefits are one of the few types of income in retirement adjusted for inflation," the petition read. "But soaring inflation has taken a toll on household finances of retired and disabled Social Security recipients."

Data collected by the group suggests that there may be a 6.2 percent increase to the Social Security cost-of-living in 2022, which greatly exceeds this year's increase of 1.3 percent to benefits.

Meanwhile, a separate petition urging lawmakers to deliver monthly stimulus checks of $2,000 for U.S. adults and $1,000 for dependents until the pandemic ends has drawn about 2,896,500 signatures.

Launched by Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin, the petition will become one of Change.org's most signed if it reaches its goal of 3 million signatures.

Dozens of congressional lawmakers have urged President Joe Biden to support monthly stimulus checks amid the ongoing pandemic. This year, at least 21 senators, 56 representatives and 150 economists have pressed Biden for further direct aid.

But a recent Democratic bill hasn't gained much traction in Congress, signaling that it's unlikely the Biden administration will get on board with any further cash payments.

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, introduced a bill in late July that would establish a federal universal basic income system. Under the proposed five-year pilot program, U.S. adults earning under $75,000 would get $1,200 and $600 for each child dependent.

Only four House Democrats—Cori Bush of Missouri, Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania, Jamaal Bowman of New York, and Pramila Jayapal of Washington—have signed onto the legislation.

The Biden administration has signaled that stimulus is no longer a priority, focusing instead on advancing a pair of infrastructure bills that amount to trillions of dollars in investments that will shape the president's legacy. Congressional leaders have also not expressed any intention to prioritize additional payments in their fall legislative agenda.