More than 460,000 people have signed a petition urging the federal government to send weekly $600 federal checks to essential workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition can be found here on MoveOn.org. As of July 14, it had been signed by 463,673 people.
“My name is Dana, and I am one of many essential workers still actively employed. As essential workers, we are all doing the important work of supporting this country but we are not being cared for by our politicians and lawmakers. This is why, just like those who have been laid off or furloughed, essential workers should receive a $600 weekly federal stimulus benefit, for working during the pandemic,” the petition starts.
“During the COVID19 pandemic, essential workers have had to make huge adjustments to our normal work routines. Not only are we working longer hours, we are also homeschooling our children while wearing masks to protect ourselves and everyone we come in contact with. Some of us have even had to be separated from our families while we keep America running.”
People responded to the petition by listing their occupations. “Truck driver,” wrote one person. “RN: essential worker, insanely understaffed daily and physically and mentally exhausted,” wrote another.
“I believe essential workers should be compensated for the pressure and stress they are enduring during this situation. As a housekeeping and laundry supervisior in a long term care facility, very under staffed as well in both depts, I am responsible for the every resident room and the rest of the facility was well. Seeing the stress this has caused the residents and all staff is not easy, yet every day we all go to work,” a woman wrote.
In separate news, in July 2020, a group of economists wrote an open letter to the U.S. government, urging more stimulus checks – perhaps even four rounds of them.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Petition Chastises Politicians on Both the Left and Right
The rest of the petition declares:
We are instructors and educators; grocery store clerks; janitors; factory, postal, insurance, food, veterinary, and domestic workers; commercial and transportation drivers; licensed, skilled and unskilled medical professionals; emergency response teams; state and federal employees and many more. We put our lives as well as the lives of our families at risk as we continue to go to work every day. Essential workers are keeping the economy in motion, and we should be cared for by our government.
Left and right politicians are praising us and telling the public that what we do is so important that this country would fall apart without us. But while we’re being called heroes in expensive TV advertisements and online campaigns, we are not being compensated like the “essential” workers that we are. It’s past time for our lawmakers to go to bat for all of us to ensure that essential workers receive a $600 weekly federal stimulus benefit.
Why is this important?
Essential workers need to know that they have someone in their corner and that’s why I will not give up this fight. We are just as important as the non-essential workers who are unemployed due to being furloughed or laid-off. We deserve the same extra assistance.
Our daily job functions have increased because we short staffed. We have much more pressure on us and economic hardship has intensified because we are carrying a heavier load. Meanwhile, food, childcare, utilities, medical bills, as well as daily life is increasing in price. This is bringing on mental and emotional stress for essential workers everywhere, and we are feeling unappreciated. Our work is necessary to keep the economy functioning and deserve extra assistance.
It’s Likely There Will Be Another Stimulus Package But Income Limits for a Second Check May Be Lowered
Will a second COVID-19 stimulus check plan happen? Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now “predicting” that a second COVID-19 stimulus “rescue package” will happen, and he said it “could well” include second direct stimulus check payments to some Americans.
It’s not clear who would get it or in what amount.
According to Bloomberg, McConnell, a Republican, made the comments at a news conference in his home state of Kentucky. The news site reported that McConnell said: “We shouldn’t lightly add more to the national debt, but I’m predicting that we will have one more rescue package, which we’ll begin to debate and discuss next week.”
It’s likely that the GOP will put forward its own stimulus relief plan to counter the Democratic version, Bloomberg reported. Lots of things still need to be hashed out, according to Bloomberg. They include unemployment benefits, business hiring incentives, small business grants, stimulus checks to individuals, and more, Bloomberg reports.
As Americans wait to hear whether there will be a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks, a new study says the first round of checks reduced poverty but that additional support will likely be needed to deal with shortcomings in the first package.
The stimulus checks were passed by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, “which included nearly $500 billion in direct income transfers for families across the country,” according to the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University
Many Americans are hoping for a second COVID-19 stimulus check to help them get through the continuing pandemic. However, there’s one big roadblock standing between them and another check: The Republican-controlled Senate.
Democrats have already passed the bill for another check, called the HEROES Act, but the plan needs to make it through the Senate. However, there have been indications from some top Republicans and President Donald Trump that a second round of checks could happen, although the form they would take is unclear. McConnell’s latest comment increases those chances. However, even the Democrats aren’t seeking weekly checks for workers.
According to CNBC, the second round of stimulus checks could get families as much as $6,000, and they’d also include people who were left out the last time, like adult dependents (many of whom are college students.) Unemployment insurance would also be extended. However, that’s the Democratic plan, and it’s likely that a GOP plan would take a different form.
McConnell Says He Thinks People Earning Less Than $40,000 a Year Have Been Hit the Hardest
McConnell’s comments came on Monday, July 6 in Kentucky. Could there be a more stringent income limit on a second stimulus check? McConnell hinted maybe so, saying, “I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. And many of them work in the hospitality industry.” He said the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, was hit hard. He added that the Senate will consider a proposal July 20.
Asked specifically whether there will be direct funding to individuals (a second stimulus check), he said, “could well,” and made the above comment, adding, “that could well be a part of it.”
He said he wanted to “take another look at this in July. Well, it’s now July.” Will there be another bill? he asked, referring to a stimulus check.
“I would predict in the next couple weeks if there’s a new rescue package, and I’m pretty sure there will be, I’ll be unveiling another one.”
He said liability protection will likely be one focus of it, for doctors, hospitals, universities, and so forth. He said “we can’t get back to normal if we end up having an epidemic of lawsuits.” He said “that will be in there.”
He said kids being in schools, jobs, and healthcare will also be in the new package. “I will be unveiling something that will be a starting place in a couple weeks.”
As for coronavirus, he said, “This is not over. We’re seeing a resurgence in many states.”
He urged people to wear a mask. He predicted there will be a vaccine more quickly than at any time in history. “We’re not going to shut the economy down again,” McConnell said.
McConnell has increasingly warmed up to the notion of a new stimulus check package in his public comments, initially sounding caution.
President Donald Trump is now on the record in support of a second stimulus package.
Trump said recently, “We will be doing another stimulus package, it will be very good, very generous.” Asked if there would be a second check, Trump also said, “We are, we are” and said it would be “very dramatic, very good.”
The Washington Post reported: “President Trump has told aides he is largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, expressing the belief that the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November.”
The week of July 13, Trump said, “We are working on another stimulus package, and that will take place … very soon.”