Petition Urging Joe Biden to Back $2,000 Monthly Basic Income Nears 300,000 Signature Target

A petition calling on former Vice President Joe Biden to back universal monthly payments of $2,000 has almost hit its 300,000 signature target.

The Change.org petition calls on the presumptive Democratic nominee to support "universal basic income" payments for all Americans until the worst of the coronavirus crisis.

It also argues that the huge stimulus package would "help millions of recently unemployed Americans" come out the other side of the ongoing pandemic and the related economic shock.

After noting that banks were bailed out amid the Financial Crash of 2007 to 2009, the petition says: "We call on Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee to support bailing out the people and publicly endorse a Universal Basic Income of at least $2,000 a month for every resident of the United States until the current health epidemic has passed and people are able to return to work."

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Former Vice President Joe Biden in Delaware
Joe Biden speaks about the novel coronavirus during a press event in Wilmington, Delaware on March 12, 2020. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The petition. created by William Bustos-Martinez. also warns that "millions of people fell through the cracks" of CARES Act provision offering individual $1,200 checks.

At the time of writing, the petition has amassed exactly 299,375 signatures over the last fortnight. The call for universal basic income payments reached a quarter of a million signatures on Thursday last week.

Newsweek has contacted the Biden 2020 campaign for comment on the petition and will update this article with any response.

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Under the CARES Act passed at the end of March, a round of one-time stimulus checks were sent to some Americans, with the payment starting at $1,200 and varying based on household income.

As it was being reported that some people were still waiting for their stimulus checks to arrive, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the HEROES Act—a $3 trillion bailout package offering a second round of $1,200 checks.

But the chances of the bill ever being passed in its current form are slim as the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to hold a vote on the relief fund.

"Instead of holding a vote on The #HeroesAct, Senate Republicans are engaging in a clear act of political retribution designed to help the President keep his job," Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted last Wednesday.

"The Senate must stop playing along with the President's dangerous tactics & take steps to save lives and livelihoods."

The Change.org petition's proposal of $2,000 monthly universal basic income payments has traction with some Capitol Hill lawmakers.

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a bill offering the sum to anyone earning less than $120,000 per year. The monthly checks would only be cut off three months after the coronavirus pandemic passed under the proposed legislation.

Petition Urging Joe Biden to Back $2,000 Monthly Basic Income Nears 300,000 Signature Target | U.S.