LOS ANGELES - A Change.org petition aimed at getting 2020 presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden to publicly endorse a “universal basic income” of $2,000 per month for every U.S. resident amid the COVID-19 pandemic had garnered more than 240,000 signatures out of its goal of 300,000 as of May 20.
“Although the CARES Act was able to get $1,200 to taxpayers, millions of people fell through the cracks and still have not received their stimulus check,” the petition read.
Nearly a month after President Donald Trump signed the historic $2.2 trillion CARES Act into law, which saw millions of individual Americans receive one-time $1,200 stimulus payments, Democrats have powered another massive relief bill through the House, breaking the previous record at $3 trillion.
FILE - Vice President Joe Biden holds a virtual campaign event on March 13, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
It has no chance of becoming law as written, but sparked difficult negotiations with the White House and Senate Republicans, as many say the first round of relief payments were not enough to combat the devastating economic effects caused by pandemic lockdowns aimed at stopping the spread of the disease.
Democratic lawmakers had already proposed a plan under the Emergency Money for the People Act, introduced in early April by Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California, to give at least $2,000 a month to every U.S. citizen age 16 or older making less than $130,000 a year.
“A one-time, $1,200 check isn’t going to cut it,” Khanna said. “Americans need sustained cash infusions for the duration of this crisis in order to come out on the other side alive, healthy, and ready to get back to work.”
Roughly 36 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the two months since the novel coronavirus first forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said last week. (https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf)
The Associated Press contributed to this story.