Progressives Renew Push for the Recurring Stimulus Checks Americans Want

Progressive Democrats are pushing President Joe Biden to back recurring stimulus payments until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A letter from Ilhan Omar (D-MN) signed by more than 50 lawmakers called on Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to consider the move, which has been supported by the American public in polls.

"Recurring payments would provide a long-term lifeline to struggling Americans for the duration of this deadly pandemic," stated the letter, which was obtained by the website Politico.

"As we look at the coming year, another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities. One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis."

Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID recovery plan includes a one-off payment of up to $1,400 per person. This follows the $600 stimulus payment signed off by former President Donald Trump at the end of last month.

However, some Democrats are pushing for more support and progressives have long called for recurring payments.

Harris herself pushed for monthly direct payments of up to $2,000 per eligible individual last year when she was a senator.

A recent poll has indicated that the American public supports recurring payments.

On December 30, 2020, Data for Progress asked 1,166 people if they would "support or oppose the following idea being included in a relief package: $2,000 per month direct cash payment to every person for the duration of the pandemic."

Overall, 65 percent said they would support this idea—41 percent strongly and 24 percent somewhat.

There was also majority support across party lines. Among Democrats, 78 percent said they would support it—52 percent strongly and 26 percent somewhat. Among Republicans, the figure was 54 percent—32 percent strongly supported the idea and 22 percent somewhat.

Earlier this month a letter calling for repeat payments was sent to the president and vice president by more than 100 progressive, advocacy and labor groups.

"To truly build back better, we need fully expanded unemployment insurance and recurring direct stimulus payments that include immigrant families and adult dependents, both lasting until the economy recovers," said the letter, shared by the Economic Security Project.

The pandemic continues to cause economic turmoil for businesses and individuals. There were 847,000 initial jobless claims in the week ending January 23, according to Department of Labor figures.

There have been more than 25.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 429,000 deaths have been recorded.

man receiving covid test in los angeles
A motorist wearing a face mask is reflected in the side view mirror of his vehicle as he is tested for COVID-19 in Los Angeles. Progressive lawmakers are calling for recurring stimulus payments to help Americans get through the pandemic. Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images