An online petition has gained nearly 145,000 signatures of people calling on lawmakers to give adult dependents the same stimulus check as other taxpayers. This factor was one of the most notorious problems of the first stimulus check, leaving out seniors, college students and others due to their tax status in 2018 or 2019. If there was any doubt that Americans want that fixed, this petition disproves it.
The petition is addressed to the United States Senate and President Donald Trump. It was written in early July, before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's HEALS Act proposal was unveiled. Simply put, it asked lawmakers to word the bill so that dependent status would not exclude Americans from receiving a stimulus check. As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, many young adults are in particular need of assistance since the recession impacted their jobs.
"There are many college students who are claimed by their parents while in school, yet still fully support themselves; many who work full time and make ends-meet off of their own wages," the petition reads. "Not only is there a huge majority of college students working full-time while going to school, but there are also many who have graduated from their undergraduate studies within the last year that fall under the status of a 'dependent' because they were still eligible to be claimed due to their student status in the 2019 fiscal year."
"Given all of the hard-work college students endure, plus the given circumstances and our current economic, health, and societal state, dependents over the age of 17 should receive the full $1,200 stimulus check."
An update on the petition notes that McConnell's HEALS Act did address the issue of adult dependents from the first round of stimulus checks, but instead of giving the full $1,200 to the dependents, it would give a $500 to the person who claimed them. Additionally, there was a limit placed on how many dependents a person could receive a credit for.
Other proposals were more generous. Congress' HEROES Act, for example, would have raised the credit for dependents to $1,200, but would still have given it to their guardian. Meanwhile, Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Bill Cassidy and Sen. Steve Daines made a late entry to the mix with a bill that would have provided a stimulus check worth up to $1,000, with an additional $1,000 for dependents of any age.
At this point, many Americans are doubtful that any stimulus check will be passed, as the Senate is now on a month-long recess ending on Labor Day. Congress is back in Washington but is unable to negotiate until the senators return.