A new viral petition calls on President Donald Trump to join the fight for monthly stimulus checks throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The idea of a monthly stimulus check has been discussed since March, with some serious proposals even reaching the Senate and Congress. Now, nearly 65,000 Americans have signed their names to ask the president to get on board.
The petition is addressed directly to Trump and claims that he will "be a hero to the people" if he advocates for monthly stimulus checks. It points out the "unprecedented financial hardship" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and cites facts to indicate that conditions will only get worse. It also makes the case that Trump's voice could be enough to sway lawmakers towards a monthly stimulus check program.
"President Trump - use your influence and power and BE A HERO TO THE PEOPLE by challenging the Senate to include more than one payment in the next stimulus package," it reads. "You want to be able to tell your constituents that you fought hard for them during this very difficult time and were willing to use your authority and power to help the millions of people whom you lead."
Trump has voiced support for various forms of economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic, from stimulus checks to payroll tax cuts to back-to-work incentives. He has not specifically addressed the idea of monthly stimulus checks, though he has attacked the lawmakers who have proposed them.
The first major proposal for monthly stimulus checks came from Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Tim Ryan and was called the Emergency Money for the People Act. It was ultimately passed over in favor of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's HEROES Act, which was, in turn, ignored in the Senate.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ed Markey brought a similar proposal directly to the Senate called the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act. Both proposed $2,000 per month to every eligible American based on income until certain criteria had been met to prove that the recession was officially over.
These proposals have been called unrealistic by many critics due to their cost. As for the president, it can be hard to determine whether or not he even supports a stimulus check of any kind from minute to minute. On Saturday during a televised press conference, he said that Americans would be fine "with or without" the payment.
A few thousand Americans disagree, but so far, their petition has done nothing to sway the president. Stimulus check negotiations remain stalled as the Senate is on a month-long recess.