House Republicans blocked House Democrats’ move to pass direct payments of $2,000 stimulus checks to all Americans after Trump publicly supported the move earlier this week.
CNBC reports that Democrats attempted to increase the check amounts after Trump warned that he’d obstruct the $2 trillion pandemic aid and federal funding bill because it included $600 stimulus checks instead of $2,000. Congress had already passed the proposal on Monday, even though Trump didn’t participate in its development. The plan encompassed $900 billion in COVID-19 relief.
Republicans pursued $600 payments instead of the $1,200 from the CARES Act in March in order to lessen the plan’s cost. The Democrats’ attempt to pass the $2,000 payments was then blocked on Christmas Eve day by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later said she would conduct a full recorded vote on the $2,000 payment proposal on Monday. “If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” Pelosi said.
It isn’t yet known who would be eligible for $2,000 payments, but in the relief bill, Americans who earn up to $75,000 and couples who jointly earn up to $150,000 would receive $600—and each dependent child would add another $600 to that total.
In addition to stimulus checks, the new package would add a $300 per week federal unemployment supplement, prolong jobless benefit expansion provisions and a federal eviction moratorium, allocate $284 billion to Paycheck Protection Program loans, add over $8 billion into COVID vaccine distribution, and more. If Trump doesn’t sign the legislation soon, then around 12 million people would lose unemployment benefits on Dec. 26 and the government would shut down on Tuesday.
President-elect Joe Biden has said that after he takes office on Jan. 20, he would urge for a third round of stimulus checks.
As if it wasn’t clear before, the Republicans — beyond Trump — are responsible for the government’s piss-poor response to this pandemic.