Democrats will try to approve $2,000 direct checks Thursday
House Democrats will propose a bill on Thursday to provide individuals with $ 2,000 direct checks after President Trump urged Congress to amend a newly passed coronavirus relief bill to bring direct payments to $ 2,000 Dollar increase, with $ 4,000 available for a pair. Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said the House will seek to pass the bill unanimously - meaning only a Republican member who opposes the proposal needs to be in attendance to block the bill.
Mr Trump stated in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday that he would not sign the $ 900 billion aid package passed by both houses of Congress on Monday. The package includes direct payments of $ 600 for adults with annual sales up to $ 75,000 and children, and $ 2,400 for a family of four.
The president's call comes after weeks of negotiations, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin playing an active role in setting the final numbers before the relief bill and an omnibus spending package are passed by an overwhelming majority. With a vote on Thursday, the Democrats will attempt to call Mr. Trump's bluff and force Republicans to resist raising direct payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000.
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Mr Trump's possible refusal to sign the current bill could have dire consequences, especially if Congress cannot convene until after Christmas to override a possible veto. The bill renewed the auxiliary provisions that are due to expire at the end of the month, such as B. Critical emergency work programs and an eviction moratorium. When these programs expire, around 12 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas. The bill also included an additional $ 300 per week for unemployment insurance and small business help.
In a tweet later on Tuesday, Pelosi noted that House Democrats had been calling for a larger aid package for months.
"Republicans have repeatedly refused to say what amount the president wanted for direct controls. Finally the president has agreed to $ 2,000 - the Democrats are ready to unanimously speak out this week. Let's do it!" Said Pelosi. Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate minority, also called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to propose a bill to increase direct payments to the Senate in which he tweeted that "the American people deserve it".
Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues on Wednesday that Republicans had told her and Schumer that they would not accept direct payments over $ 600.
"In the bipartisan negotiations, Leader Schumer and I repeatedly asked Republicans what number the president would most accept for direct payments, and they responded with sphinx-like silence. In the negotiations they would never go beyond $ 600, and in some cases hit $ 500 before, "said Pelosi.
Even if the House is able to pass the bill unanimously in the House without Republicans offering opposition, it is unlikely to get passed in the Senate. GOP Senator Ron Johnson twice blocked proposals from Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Republican Senator Josh Hawley to provide direct checks worth $ 1,200 last week. Johnson argued that spending money on direct checks would add to the deficit and "mortgage our children's futures".
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of the president, said in a tweet on Wednesday that he supported Trump's "demand to increase direct payments to long-suffering Americans to $ 2,000 per person." However, it is still unclear whether McConnell would even submit such a bill.
The bipartisan CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, provided for direct checks of $ 1,200 for adults and $ 500 for children. The House passed a massive $ 3 trillion aid package in May, the HEROES Act, which would have allowed adults and children to receive direct payments of $ 1,200 with up to $ 6,000 per household.
McConnell declined to bring the HEROES bill into the Senate because it was too big and contained too many provisions unrelated to the coronavirus. Mr Trump also slammed the bill, saying that the inclusion of direct funding for state and local governments is a bailout for blue states.
The House then passed a revised $ 2 trillion version of the HEROES bill in October that still included the direct payments. McConnell, however, still refused to bring the legislation to the Senate and instead tried to pass a targeted $ 500 billion bill that did not include direct payments.
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