Fourth Stimulus Check Update: Petition for Monthly $2,000 Passes 2.9 Million Signatures

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

The nonpartisan Senior Citizens League (TSCL) has gathered 38,720 supporters for a petition that calls for congressional lawmakers to pass a round of $1,400 "emergency stimulus checks" to assist an estimated 69 million Social Security beneficiaries—including retirees, disabled adults and their dependents, widows and widowers—in coping with the "unprecedented inflation year."

"A very significant portion are in fact pleading for help as quickly as possible," Mary Johnson, a policy analyst at TSCL, told Newsweek. "I've received multiple emails from people saying they face losing their home because they can't pay all the bills."

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.

Another a month of gathering signatures, the group will contact members of Congress next week with the number of Social Security recipients from their districts or states who have signed the petition.

Biden stimulus check petition coronavirus COVID-19 senior
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

Meanwhile, a separate petition for monthly stimulus checks of $2,000 for U.S. adults and $1,000 for dependents until the pandemic ends has drawn 2,907,870 signatures.

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

This year, dozens of congressional lawmakers—21 senators, 56 representatives—and over 150 economists have pushed President Joe Biden to support monthly stimulus checks.

Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota 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 less than $75,000 would receive $1,200 and $600 for each dependent.

But the bill hasn't gained much traction in Congress. Only four House Democrats—Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri and Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania—have signed onto the proposed legislation.

The Biden administration has signaled that stimulus is no longer a priority and congressional leaders have not expressed any intention to add cash payments to their fall legislative agenda. Democrats are focusing instead on rallying moderates and progressives in the caucus behind a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and multi-trillion dollar spending package that will shape the president's legacy.