Petition For $2,000 Monthly Payments Gains Traction

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Federal Reserve said supply bottlenecks and a labor shortage could keep inflation higher than they had previously expected
Federal Reserve said supply bottlenecks and a labor shortage could keep inflation higher than they had previously expected

A Change.org petition to Congress for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks is close to being 90% complete Sunday, with nearly 2.7 million signatures for the 3 million goal. The petition was at 2,698,800 signatures as of 6:17 p.m. ET.

While such petitions rarely sway Congress, the petition may help restart the conversation about more direct payments to Americans at a time when Congress debates a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

There have been three rounds of direct payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The last payment was part of the American Rescue Plan, which was enacted in March, and provided eligible Americans with a payment of $1,400 — or $2,800 for married couples — along with $1,400 per eligible child.

The petition was created in March 2020 by Stephanie Bronin, owner of Duo Restaurant in Denver. She calls for payments of $2,000 for adults and $1,000 for every child.

The petition has seen a surge in activity in recent days. 

"Reporters have been speculating about whether this petition will reach 3 million signatures, but that is not where my head is at," Bronin posted on July 15. "My focus is on the right NOW because today is the day monthly checks will be arriving for almost 90% of families in our country. I know it doesn’t include everyone, but it is a partial answer to the plea of this petition… ongoing support we can budget into our lives." 

The movement for direct payments is not new. Before the pandemic, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang campaigned on a plan to give every U.S. adult $1,000 a month.

Billionaire Mark Cuban told CNBC in December 2020 that he prefers the federal government send checks directly to Americans instead of funding assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

There has also been growing support by some Democrats in Congress.

But trillions of dollars in cash infusions have sparked growing inflation concerns. 

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has ballooned to $8.2 trillion, while year-over-year inflation recently reached its fastest rate since 2008.

Meanwhile, the chances of another round of direct payments could be stalled. Many top Republican lawmakers remain hesitant to even lend support to infrastructure funding despite its strong popularity amongst Republican voters.

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