- President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that Americans would receive $US2,000 in coronavirus relief payments “immediately” if Georgia voted for both Democrats in the US Senate runoffs.
- He told Georgians “those checks will never get there” if Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the two Republican incumbents, were to win.
- The pair are running against the Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The polls in Georgia close at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
- The Senate has so far rejected $US2,000 checks – but a Democratic win in the runoffs would see the Senate split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding a tiebreaking vote.
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President-elect Joe Biden told Georgia voters on Monday that $US2,000 stimulus checks would be sent out to Americans right away if the state voted for the Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Tuesday’s US Senate runoffs.
More than 3 million people voted early in the Georgia runoffs, according to the US Elections Project. The Election Day polls in Georgia close at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
During his speech in Atlanta, Biden promised that if Warnock and Ossoff won the runoffs, “that money will go out the door immediately to help people who are in real trouble.”
Biden, who is due to take office on January 20, argued that if Georgians voted for Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the two Republican incumbents, “those checks will never get there.”
Direct payments of $US2,000, backed by President Donald Trump and both Perdue and Loeffler, have been blocked four times by the Republican-controlled Senate, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling them “socialism for the rich.”
If Warnock and Ossoff won in the runoffs, the Senate would be split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans â€” and Vice President Kamala Harris would have a tiebreaking vote.
Congress passed a $US900 billion relief bill on December 22 containing $US600 direct payments for most Americans based on income. In a speech that day, Biden called the legislation “a down payment,” and Democrats have said they will push for more federal aid when Biden takes office January 20.
Trump signed the relief package on December 28 but is urging lawmakers to reach a deal on $US2,000 checks.
The $US600 payments have already started being distributed, so it’s unclear whether Biden would seek additional $US1,400 payments or an additional $US2,000.
Biden told Georgians the debate over relief payments wasn’t an “abstract debate” but was about “real lives.”
His trip came a day after The Washington Post released a recording in which Trump appeared to plead with Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” additional votes to win the state during the 2020 presidential election.
Georgia voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in the November election for the first time since 1992.
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