- Democratic leaders in Congress said Tuesday that they are ready to secure $US2,000 stimulus checks, if only Republicans will go along.
- Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump criticised the COVID-19 stimulus package passed by Congress, saying $US600 stimulus checks were not enough.
- “Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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Congressional Democrats are poised to hold a vote this week on whether to increase the size of coronavirus stimulus checks to $US2,000 per adult, a move that comes after President Trump said $US600 payments were not enough.
The idea of two-grand stimulus checks was first raised publicly by progressive members of the Democratic caucus. On Tuesday, Trump embraced the idea in a video posted to Twitter where he asked Congress to more than triple the payments included in the recently passed $US900 billion stimulus package, which the White House previously suggested he would sign. It’s unclear if Trump will veto the current package with $US600 in checks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi immediately responded. “At last, the president has agreed to $US2,000,” she said on Twitter. “Democrats are ready to bring this to the floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!”
Under unanimous consent, a measure can pass the House of Representatives so long as no member voices opposition. By electing this procedure, Democrats can force Republicans to take ownership of blocking the larger stimulus payments.
Over in the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would have loved to include $US2,000 checks in the recent stimulus package “but Republicans blocked it.” He urged Trump to sign the bill headed to his desk, but said that, after, “we’re glad to pass more aid Americans need.”
“Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again,” Schumer said.
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