Outgoing President Donald Trump really put Senate Republicans in a tight spot this week by demanding the passage of $2,000 stimulus checks. On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed the idea.
The House and Senate passed two pieces of combined legislation on Monday, one of which is a $1.4 trillion government funding bill to prevent a shutdown, and the other a $900 billion coronavirus relief package that only provides $600 pittance checks to Americans who are being hit hard by the pandemic.
Millions of Americans face eviction at the end of the year, and $600 is simply not even close to enough to cover a single month of rent in this country. And that’s on top of other bills Americans are desperate to keep up with during this time of crisis.
Republicans refused calls for $1,200 checks, which would have matched the first round of stimulus checks passed earlier this year in the initial months of the pandemic. $600 was the compromise, but only because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to help two Republican incumbents keep their seats in a heated Senate runoff race in Georgia they are getting killed in by Democrats right now.
Not long after the Senate passed the bills, Trump delivered remarks in opposition to the paltry payments and demanded $2,000 stimulus checks after months of remaining silent on the relief package as his Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin represented him in negotiations.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said. “I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package.”
The last part of Trump’s statement is particularly alarming for Republicans since President-Elect Joe Biden would not be able to pass such a relief package without Democrats in control of the Senate, which they can only get if Georgia elects Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock on January 5th.
Basically, Trump is telling Georgia voters that the only way they can get relief is to vote Democratic.
And in one of the few times that Democrats have overwhelmingly agreed with Trump, Pelosi enthusiastically endorsed his call for $2,000 stimulus checks.
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also endorsed the idea and clubbed Republicans over the head with it.
We spent months trying to secure $2000 checks but Republicans blocked it
Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we’re glad to pass more aid Americans need
Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2020
Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed it.
Let’s do it. @RashidaTlaib and I already co-wrote the COVID amendment for $2,000 checks, so it’s ready to go.
Glad to see the President is willing to support our legislation.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 23, 2020
Americans need help, and $2,000 would give them that help. For once, Trump is not the obstacle. The only ones standing in the way are Senate Republicans. If they refuse to do the right thing here, Georgia voters must ensure that Republicans lose control of the Senate so Democrats can pass real relief next month.
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