Will Senate Republicans block the House bill supporting President Trump’s efforts to send all American’s a much-needed $2,000 COVID Stimulus Check?

President Donald Trump ramped up pressure on the GOP to back bigger checks.

In light of the vitriol of today’s political climate, in what could only be described as a surreal moment. 

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he’ll seek unanimous consent Tuesday to pass the House bill, which would increase the payments from the $600 to $2,000 that President Trump demanded.

The move is expected to draw an objection from a Republican.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t said whether the Senate would take up the House bill, attempt to vote on a different one that would also increase direct payments, or simply ignore the issue.

President Trump’s demand last week for bigger payments put Republicans in a bind after they resisted anything higher than $600 during the drawn-out negotiations on the original bill.

Trump on Tuesday, in a series of tweets that also excoriated Republican leaders on a defense policy bill, again demanded that the stimulus payments should be scaled up.

 

Pelosi Sobers Up Long Enough To Agree With Trump On $2,000 COVID Stimulus Check

In the House on Monday, 44 Republicans joined 231 Democrats on Monday to pass a bill increasing the payments to $2,000. Democrats were quick to use Trump’s endorsement as a pressure point.

“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 said in a tweet, calling on the Senate to pass the higher payments. 

Trump has expressed anger at McConnell and other GOP leaders for failing to back his quixotic attempt to overturn the election results. Now that the $2,000 checks issue is in the Senate, Trump is using social media to draw continued attention to it and pressure Republicans to take action.

McConnell is expected to speak about the issue when he opens the Senate for debate Tuesday afternoon. The Senate would likely need unanimous consent to be able to vote on both a defense bill veto override and the $2,000 checks legislation before this session of Congress expires on Sunday. Getting that agreement is unlikely.

A vote against the increased payments would put Senate Republicans at odds with the leader of their party and on record against a politically popular idea, in a week that Republicans are trying to remain unified ahead of the Georgia elections.

In those races, Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both used the pandemic relief legislation to criticize Republican incumbents, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler after Republicans previously blocked bigger stimulus payments.

Perdue and Loeffler on Tuesday both threw their support behind increasing the payments.

“I’ve said absolutely we need to get relief to Americans now and I will support that,” Loeffler said on “Fox and Friends.” She earlier said she would consider larger stimulus payments if other spending cuts were made.

Georgia Votes

Perdue, retweeting Trump, said he backed the $2,000 payments as well.

The House bill cleared the chamber on a 275 to 134 vote. In addition to increasing the payment amounts and the income cutoff to receive a check, the legislation would expand the eligibility of household members who can get the money, allowing adult dependents, as well as child dependents, to receive the payments. Currently, just children of adults under the income caps qualify for the payments.

Senate Republican ‘No’ Votes

During months of Covid-19 relief negotiations, Republicans fought against any direct payments and insisted that $600 was the maximum they could support in this round of economic aid.

  • Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey said Sunday he would vote against $2,000 checks.
  • Senator Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, blocked an attempt to bolster the payments to $1,200 when the pandemic relief legislation was being debated.

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