DEMOCRATS plan to renew a push for $2,000 stimulus checks, which were backed by President Trump, as the new Congress is sworn in.
With the 117th Congress set to be sworn in on Sunday, many lawmakers have said they expect another round of checks to be a priority.
In the final days of the 116th Congress, lawmakers passed a second coronavirus relief package that sent $600 stimulus checks to eligible Americans, but many Democrats and some Republicans expressed that they did not think the checks were enough.
President Trump also stunned lawmakers by initially refusing the sign off on the bill, which his White House helped negotiate, insisting that the $600 checks should be increased to $2,000.
Trump eventually caved and signed the bill last Sunday, after Congress could not come to a new agreement regarding the checks.
As new lawmakers are sworn in, with Democrats losing some seats in the House of Representatives but still maintaining control, many have expressed their desire to revive talks about $2,000 checks.
"President-elect Joe Biden has made clear that the pandemic relief bill that Congress passed is simply a down payment on the work that needs to continue," Rep Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said.
"We're going to continue to fight for a $2,000 direct payment check."
Last Monday, the House of Representatives approved a standalone bill to give $2,000 to eligible Americans.
"The House and the President are in agreement: we must deliver $2,000 checks to American families struggling this Holiday Season," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted after the CASH Act passed.
That bill never came to vote in the Senate, however.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the effort to increase the agreed-upon stimulus checks "socialism for the rich."
However, the push did gain approval by some Congressional Republicans after Trump threw his support behind bigger checks.
South Carolina Sen Lindsey Graham was one of a few Republicans lawmakers pushing for a standalone vote on the $2,000 checks, noting that in "the new Congress, you could get a vote."
"We have seven Republicans who have already said they'd vote for it," he said during an interview with Fox and Friends. "We need five more. I think if we had a vote, we would get there."
Two of the GOP senators who voted for the checks are Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia, who both face runoff elections on Tuesday.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took the floor during a rare New Year's Day meeting for the Senate to again demand more money for struggling Americans.
He has vowed that Democrats will continue to fight for another round of checks after the new Congress is sworn in.
"I just took the floor again to demand a vote on $2000 survival checks," Schumer tweeted on Friday.
"Sen. Thune (R-SD) objected. [Sen Sanders] again demanded a vote on $2000 checks–and then on Sen. McConnell's own bill. Sen. Cornyn objected (R-TX) for Sen. Toomey (R-PA).
"Democrats will not stop fighting."
Source: Read Full Article