Petition for more stimulus payments passes 3 million mark even as debt nears $30 trillion

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the automatic advance child tax credit payments were serving as economic stimulus.

Updated: January 12, 2022 - 12:54pm

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A petition for $2,000 monthly stimulus checks is fast approaching 3.5 million signatures, but it remains unclear if Congress is considering passing another round of direct payments as the national debt nears $30 trillion.

The national debt has hit $29.7 trillion for the first time, according to Treasury Department data. As of October 2021, borrowing had risen by about $5 trillion since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to budget experts. 

In September, Just the News asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if the House was considering another stimulus payment.

Pelosi said the automatic advance child tax credit payments were serving as economic stimulus.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Congress, under former President Trump's tenure in office, issued $1,200 stimulus payments and $600 payments to all American citizens who filed tax returns. President Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, passed in March, included $1,400 stimulus payments. 

Congressional leaders are reportedly considering additional economic stimulus measures, but a concrete proposal has not been put forward.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday that he expects the White House to request that Congress pass an "emergency" funding bill in response to the Omicron variant. 

The FY2020 deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion, driven largely by the federal government's pandemic stimulus spending. The FY2021 deficit was close to $3 trillion. The national debt is $29.7 trillion. 

Just the News reached out to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees seeking details on the additional stimulus measures that are being considered. Both committees were asked if direct payments are among the potential stimulus measures.

"Chairman Leahy and Committee staff continue to evaluate the use of previous COVID appropriations, the availability of balances, and potentially the need for additional resources for vaccines, therapeutics, testing, and other needs," said a Senate Appropriations Committee spokesperson, who directed this reporter to a recent op-ed by Sen. Leahy. 

The House Appropriations Committee did not respond before publication.