Millions of Americans have continued to call for additional stimulus as rapid inflation takes its toll on the economy — with analysts suggesting this Thanksgiving holiday could be the most expensive in history.
Nearly 3 million people have signed a Change.org online petition calling on Congress to issue more stimulus checks. The petition — which was supported by nearly 2.97 million people — urges Congress to approve $2,000-a-month direct payments as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the U.S. economy.
“This is catastrophic for working families like mine,” Stephanie Bonin, the petition’s creator, wrote on Change.org. “I call on Congress to immediately support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for children, and to continue regular checks throughout the duration of the crisis.”
Several other petitions on Change.org have made similar calls to lawmakers and President Joe Biden. Each petition has garnered tens or even hundreds of thousands of signatures calling for additional monthly payments, or at least a fourth stimulus check, as consumers see ever-increasing prices due to inflation.
CNN reported this week that inflation could cause Thanksgiving in 2021 to become the most expensive in history. The report highlighted that the Department of Agriculture has projected that average dinner costs have increased by 5 percent. Meanwhile, the report said the American Farm Bureau Federation predicted the average cost of dinner would have increased by as much as 14 percent.
According to the consumer price index (CPI), inflation rose by 6.2 percent between October 2020 and October 2021, the Booking Institute reported this month. Looking at the personal consumer spending (PCE) deflator, inflation was up 4.4 percent from September 2020 to September 2021.
In responses to Change.org’s petition, people who signed the petition said they were doing so in hopes of getting some relief from rising prices this holiday season.
“I sign because I have a fixed income [and] Due to the high prices, this Thanksgiving is a shambles for me,” wrote a petition signer, identified as Alan Mackarevitz. “Christmas is coming and I won’t be blessed to buy gifts for my family and friends.”
In March 2020, Congress met in a bipartisan fashion to pass substantial COVID-19 relief legislation. That bill authorized a round of $1,200 stimulus checks sent to most Americans. In December, Congress passed another two-part bill that distributed an additional $600 to the majority of Americans.
After President Joe Biden took office, Democrats pushed through the US bailout plan without any support from Republicans. That legislation provided additional stimulus checks of $1,400 to the majority of Americans. While dozens of Democratic lawmakers have expressed support for continued direct payments — including recurring monthly checks — no legislation is currently underway to provide additional incentive checks at this time.