Fourth Stimulus Check Update: Petition for Monthly $2K Grows; Senior Citizen Group Demands $1.4K

A senior citizens advocacy group has launched a new petition calling on Congress to deliver a fourth stimulus check of $1,400 just for Social Security recipients. That new campaign comes as a petition for monthly stimulus checks of $2,000 for the wider U.S. population is nearing its goal of 3 million signatures while the Delta variant drives up COVID-19 deaths surge across the country.

The latest campaign spearheaded by the nonpartisan Senior Citizens League (TSCL) calls for lawmakers to pass a fourth round of "$1,400 emergency stimulus checks" to assist seniors in coping with the "unprecedented inflationary year."

"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 suggests there could be a 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, according to the group.

Stimulus checks petition Biden coronavirus inflation pandemic
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

Additionally, a separate online petition calling for recurring stimulus checks of $2,000 for U.S. adults and $1,000 for child dependents until the pandemic ends has gained about 116,000 new supporters in the past month.

The Change.org petition has drawn over 2,875,490 signatures since it was launched last year by Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin. It will become one of Change.org's most signed if the petition reaches its goal of 3 million signatures.

Dozens of congressional lawmakers have pushed President Joe Biden to support monthly stimulus checks. But a recent Democratic bill for recurring direct payments has failed to draw much traction, signaling that it's unlikely the Biden administration will get on board with any further federal cash payments.

Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Democrat, introduced a bill on July 30 that would establish a federal universal basic income system. If passed, the five-year pilot program would pay at least $1,200 per month to U.S. adults earning under $75,000, and dependents half the amount adults receive.

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.

In a letter sent to Biden on March 30, 21 senators, led by Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden, called for recurring stimulus checks, arguing that the last federal cash payment of $1,400 wasn't enough to support low-income families struggling under the financial hardship of the ongoing pandemic.

More than 56 House Democrats and 150 economists, including Jason Furman, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Obama administration, have also pressed Biden for further direct aid.

But the Biden administration has signaled that it's not a priority, focusing instead on advancing a $3.5 trillion budget bill and $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, neither of which contain any stimulus checks. Leaders in Congress have also not expressed any intention to prioritize additional payments in their fall legislative agenda.

Newsweek reached out to the Senior Citizens League for comment.