At the start of the covid-19 pandemic, Denver-area restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin seeing her husband kicked out of work and fearing that his own business would go bankrupt due to the pandemic, decided to take action. She started a Change.org petition calling on lawmakers in Washington to send Americans recurring monthly direct stimulus payments.
The federal government has approved three rounds of stimulus checks and ideas for continued help to struggling households across the country, similar to Bonin’s, have been proposed by lawmakers. However, even as the petition nears its stated goal of three million signatures and Democrats move closer to a deal for President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, no new stimulus payments appear to be expected despite the covid-19 pandemic and the damage it has caused is far from over.
Stimulus checks of $ 2,000 for adults and $ 1,000 in direct payments for children
The Campaign to Provide Continuing Relief to Americans who found themselves on leave or lost their livelihoods as a result of covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions across the United States launched on March 20. In a month the petition collected over a million signatures and although lawmakers passed the first set of $ 1,200 stimulus check laws, Automatic boost to the law on communities, was introduced to set up a recurring direct payment system throughout the duration of the pandemic and beyond.
If the bill had passed, he would have sent eligible Americans $ 2,000 per month up to one year after the end of the pandemic or when unemployment was less than 2% of pre-pandemic levels, whichever is later. It’s similar to what Bonin was asking, adults are expected to receive $ 2,000 per month and children $ 1,000 per month for the duration of the pandemic. Without such a measure, the petition argued that “laid-off workers, workers on leave, self-employed workers and workers on reduced hours will find it difficult to pay their rent or put food on the table.”
Additional stimulus payments are needed but unlikely
It would take another year for the petition to collect its second million signatures, but as covid-19 continued to disrupt the lives of people in the United States the calls for additional stimulus became louder again. Just weeks after Democrats passed the US bailout, many lawmakers in both houses of Congress called on President Biden to include recurring payments as part of the Build Back Better legislation. Besides, to include automatic triggers for the expansion of federal unemployment compensation.
In a letter from 21 senators, they explained that such measures are necessary because “Almost 6 in 10 people say the $ 1,400 payments to be included in the bailout will last them less than three months.” Neither automatic triggers nor a fourth round of stimulus checks are currently included in the legislative proposals Democrats plan to pass without any Republican backing. The package was originally set to represent $ 3.5 trillion in spending over the next ten years, but this figure is being reduced to collect the votes of two recalcitrant senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
I often get why we don’t dance in the streets and sing from the top of the mountains about the impact of these controls. But I remember they end in December. Maybe people are just holding their breath. #children vouchers #CTC https://t.co/VlEIscduuZ
– Stephanie Bonin (@ StephanieBonin9) October 18, 2021
Other federal assistance possible
Since crossing the two million signature mark in May the petition is approaching its goal of three million, which would make it one of Change.org’s best campaigns. However, despite many American families still struggling in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic, which still continues, no new large-scale federal stimulus checks appear to be coming.
If Democrats can get Biden’s agenda to the finish line, households with children could expect more limited financial assistance. An extension of the enhanced child tax credit for 2021 is included in the Better Rebuild Bill that is taking shape in the House. Originally, Biden had asked that the program, including the advance payments on the tax provision, continue until 2025. Although Democrats are not giving in to Senator Joe Manchin’s proposal requires the credit to be limited to families earning less than $ 60,000 or a work requirement, it is a question of shortening the length of the extension of the measure.