Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin started the online petition more than a year ago. As of Wednesday morning, it had 2.6 million signatures and climbing.
Bonin, who owns the restaurant with her husband, calls for targeted stimulus money.
“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 percent and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care. 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,” she wrote in the latest update.
“It took nine months for Congress to send a second stimulus check and just moments to spend it. Moving forward Congress needs to make recurring checks automatic if certain triggers are met. No more waiting around for our government to send the help we need. Sign to join our movement to get recurring checks to the people,” she wrote.
“The most common reason [people sign] is that uncertain feeling,” Bonin told Newsweek. “We’re still in uncertain times. And it’s times like this that it feels like people go back into a fear-based life.”
In the meantime, many American families began receiving child tax credit payments last week either directly in their bank accounts or in the mail.
The payments differ from stimulus checks in that they are not completely new funds but rather an advanced payment on the Child Tax Credit parents already were deducting from their taxes at filing time. The total value of the credit was beefed up for 2021 as part of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. This year, parents are getting half of the funds in advance and the rest when filing is done next spring. That means the monthly check payments will run out at the start of 2022.