Group Urges Congress to Pay $1,400 to Some Americans – Community News
Stimulus Check

Group Urges Congress to Pay $1,400 to Some Americans

About 75,000 people have signed a petition for a $1,400 incentive check for Social Security recipients, and the group organizing the push plans to pressure Congress to work on additional payments by the end of the year.

The Senior Citizens League, one of the largest impartial senior groups, is asking Congress to send the $1,400 to anyone receiving Social Security benefits. Inflation is putting too much pressure on fixed income households, and the Senior Citizens League says the rise in benefits this year has not kept pace with the rising cost of living.

“Social Security benefits have only increased by 1.3 percent — an average of $20. That’s really eroded the purchasing power people had just 12 months ago,” said Mary Johnson, the group’s social security and health care policy analyst. news week. “We thought that a one-off incentive payment would already help to heat homes.”

The organization started the petition in early October and has since collected 75,000 signatures, according to Johnson, with about 1,600 in the past week. As it has been done in the past, the organization is also engaged in a massive mailing campaign to its supporters and is also collecting physical signatures. Those signatures have yet to be included in the final count.

“We were really surprised. We really didn’t expect such a response,” Johnson said of the online support. “It was kind of like a flood of signatures that we got in the first month. That really was a big, big, great, supportive push to get it going.”

Johnson said they hope to have a final set of emails and online signatures by the end of the month, after which they will send each member of Congress a list of voters. The goal is to show lawmakers the level of support for the idea in their districts before lawmakers leave for the holiday season in December.

Joe Biden stimulus check some Americans
The Senior Citizens League is pushing Congress for a $1,400 payment to Social Security recipients, and a petition has garnered 75,000 signatures. Above, President Joe Biden at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 1.
Evan Vucci/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

While the group continues to push for the $1,400 payments, believing they can provide needed assistance to Social Security recipients, Johnson acknowledged that prospects for a new stimulus check are “questionable.”

Congress struggled to get through a second round of stimulus checks late last year, despite support from then-President Donald Trump. The partisan divisions were even more apparent last March, as Congress worked to approve the US bailout plan. A $1.9 trillion stimulus package, including $1,400 stimulus checks for many Americans, was passed without any support from Republicans.

Further efforts to put more money into Americans’ pockets have been fruitless, but the Senior Citizens League plans to continue working with lawmakers to get the idea implemented, even if it means passing it to the next legislative session.

Next year, Social Security benefits for about 70 million Americans will increase by 5.9 percent. That significant increase in the benefits of the 2021 hike could hurt the chances of a new stimulus check, but Johnson said it “all depends on what our economy is doing”.

The Senior Citizens League is open to modifying the proposal based on what lawmakers think could pass in Congress, and Johnson said the group could also explore a tax credit for Social Security recipients. That would lower the taxes Social Security recipients have to pay on their income, putting more money in their pockets.

Looking to the next year, the group plans to conduct multiple studies to see which proposals have the widest support. But Johnson said the group is “overwhelmed” with interest on a $1,400 payment.

“I’m curious how older people react – we may have a pretty good response to the… [mailings for $1,400 payments]Johnson said. “There are people out there who aren’t necessarily savvy with the internet, so we’ll see.”