Fourth Stimulus Check Update: Petition for Monthly $2,000 Nears 3 Million Signatures

A petition for monthly stimulus checks of $2,000 is nearing its goal of 3 million signatures, as COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to decline across the U.S. following a summer surge. But while petitions for cash payments continue to gain traction online, that support isn't translating to pressure on members of Congress.

The Change.org petition, launched by Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin last year, calls for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to provide a $2,000 payment for adults and $1,000 payment for kids immediately and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis."

The petition has gained more than 2,927,770 signatures as of Saturday, with about 43,000 new supporters in the past month. It will become one of Change.org's most signed petitions if it reaches its goal of 3 million signatures.

Biden stimulus check petition cash payments $2,000
President Joe Biden listens during 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

As that campaign grows, a senior citizens advocacy group has asked congressional lawmakers to pass legislation that would provide a fourth cash payment of $1,400 to Social Security recipients amid rising inflation.

Throughout September, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures in an effort to pressure Congress to deliver a round of $1,400 "emergency stimulus" checks to help an estimated 69 million Social Security beneficiaries—including retirees, disabled adults and their dependents, and widows and widowers—in coping with the "unprecedented inflation year."

Data collected by the group shows an estimated 6.2 percent increase to the Social Security cost-of-living in 2022, which far exceeds this year's increase of 1.3 percent to benefits.

"A special stimulus for Social Security recipients could help defray the higher costs some would face if next year's [Cost of Living Adjustment] bumps them into a higher tax bracket," Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for TSCL, told Newsweek.

Dozens of congressional lawmakers—56 representatives and 21 senators—and over 150 economists have pushed Biden to support recurring stimulus checks this year.

But the Biden administration has signaled in recent months that stimulus is no longer a priority, pivoting instead to advancing a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and multi-trillion-dollar spending package that's key to President Joe Biden's domestic agenda.

Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, introduced legislation on July 30 that would establish a federal universal basic income system. Under the proposed five-year pilot program, U.S. adults earning under $75,000 would receive $1,200 a month and $600 for each dependent child.

The bill only drew support from four legislators—Democratic Representatives Cori Bush, Dwight Evans, Jamaal Bowman and Pramila Jayapal.