Now as you may already know, the senior citizens advocacy group known as the Senior’s Citizen’s League is pushing Congress to deliver legislation that would provide a fourth stimulus check of $1,400 to Social Security recipients. Their petition calling for these checks is currently at over one million signatures. On the other hand, we have a separate group of lawmakers that started a petition calling for monthly cash payments of $2,000 for the wider American population. And this petition currently sits at around 2.9 million signatures. So collectively, we’re looking at around 3 million total signatures lobbying for fourth stimulus checks.
Now regarding the goals of the Senior’s Citizen’s League, their petition is specifically aimed at calling for congressional lawmakers to pass another round of $1,400 "emergency stimulus checks" to assist an estimated 69 million Social Security beneficiaries—including retirees, widows and widowers, disabled adults, and their dependents, as compensation for dealing with this year’s unprecedented inflation. According to Mary Johnson, a policy analyst at the Senior’s Citizen’s League, "We're proposing this stimulus because of the difficulty so many are having with record setting inflation in a year when Social Security benefits were only increased by 1.3 percent in 2021”.
As a final action, after a month of signature gathering, the group will contact members of Congress in early October and present them with the number of Social Security recipients from their districts or states who have signed the petition. The petition specifically states "Social security benefits are one of the few types of income in retirement adjusted for inflation. But soaring inflation has taken a toll on household finances of retired and disabled Social Security recipients”. On the brighter side of things, data collected by the group suggests that there may be a 6.2 percent increase to the Social Security cost-of-living in 2022, which greatly exceeds this year's increase of 1.3 percent to benefits. Meanwhile, a separate petition urging lawmakers to deliver monthly stimulus checks of $2,000 for U.S. adults and $1,000 for dependents until the pandemic ends has drawn about 2.9 million signatures. As a result, dozens of congressional lawmakers have stepped forward and urged President Joe Biden to support monthly stimulus checks amid the ongoing pandemic. This year, at least 21 senators, 56 representatives and 150 economists have pressed President Biden for further direct aid.
Despite this growing popularity, a recent Democratic bill hasn't gained much traction in Congress, signaling that it's unlikely the Biden administration will get on board with any further cash payments. In a desperate attempt, Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar introduced a bill in late July that would establish a federal universal basic income system. Under the proposed five-year pilot program, U.S. adults earning under $75,000 would get $1,200, and $600 for each child dependent. However, only four House Democrats have signed onto the legislation.
It’s apparent that the Biden administration has signaled that stimulus checks are no longer a priority, focusing instead on advancing a pair of infrastructure bills that amount to trillions of dollars in investments. Meanwhile, many Congressional leaders have similarly failed to express any intention to prioritize additional payments in their fall legislative agenda. Our only hope now is that the combined 3 million Americans that signed these petitions will garner enough attention to prompt lawmakers to fit these measures into one of the infrastructure bills, which Senate Democrats have pushed out to the end of October to finalize.