- More than 3 million people have collectively signed petitions seeking more direct payments.
- Stephanie Bonin’s petition has 2.7 million signatures, while smaller ones have amassed thousands.
- If Bonin’s hits 3 million signatures, it will become one of the top petitions on Change.org.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
More than 3 million people have collectively signed online petitions calling for at least one more round of direct payments for Americans.
Stephanie Bonin, one of the larger petitions’ creators, posted an update on the Change.org site. It said: “Our country is still deeply struggling. The recovery hasn’t reached many Americans – the true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20% and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care.”
It added: “These are all reasons that checks need to be targeted to people who are still struggling and that Congress needs to learn from this past year.”
Bonin, a restaurant owner in Denver, used her petition to call for immediate $US2,000 ($AU2,728) payments for adults and a $US1,000 ($AU1,364) payment for children, along with regular payments for the duration of the pandemic.
The petition is directed at the House and the Senate. Some Democrats in Congress have urged the Biden administration to push for a fourth round of payments.
Aside from Bonin’s, five smaller petitions on Change.org have also gained traction in recent months, as Newsweek previously reported.
The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said on June 3 that President Joe Biden was most focused on creating jobs but “happy to hear” other ideas of ways to stimulate the economy.
Since then, some states have already made moves to further financially support residents. California, for example, agreed to send up to $US1,000 ($AU1,364) monthly checks to residents as part of the US’ first guaranteed income program.
The pandemic has increased food insufficiency for households across the US, according to a recent blog post coauthored by Cecilia Rouse, the chair of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Brandon Restrepo, an economist in the Diet, Safety, and Health Economics Branch of the Food Economics Division.
Direct payments have helped, according to the White House.
“After the pandemic struck and hunger went up dramatically, there were temporary reductions in food insecurity rates following the passage of the CARES Act in March 2020 – when the first round of stimulus checks were released to many Americans,” the economists wrote.
The pattern repeated itself with each of the subsequent rounds of stimulus, according to the blog post. Food-insecurity rates rose but then dropped as the payments were sent out.
By mid-April, the total rate of food insufficiency in the US dropped to 8%, the lowest rate of the pandemic, according to Rouse and Restrepo. For families with children, the rate fell to 11% in mid-April, down from 18% in mid-December.
“With Federal aid payments now decreasing, however, it is not surprising that food insecurity is again on the rise,” Rouse and Restrepo wrote.