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President Trump has refused to sign the new stimulus bill and has expressed his support for larger $2,000 direct payments.
There are many Democrats on board with increased direct payments and there is even a vote scheduled for Monday for lawmakers to authorize the larger checks.
The big problem with the vote on Monday is that it is not expected that Republicans will get on board so that there are enough votes to pass $2,000 checks.
The Senate will need a minimum of 60 votes.
But there may be more Republican support than initially expected.
The latest Republican to get on board with Trump’s call for bigger checks is Senator Lindsey Graham.
Last night he tweeted:
After spending some time with President @realDonaldTrump today, I am convinced he is more determined than ever to increase stimulus payments to $2000 per person and challenge Section 230 big tech liability protection.
He also wrote:
Both are reasonable demands, and I hope Congress is listening. The biggest winner would be the American people.
The fact that a top Republican senator is calling $2,000 stimulus payments “reasonable” is pretty huge.
It’s also worth noting that the Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler (who is facing the runoff very soon) is also on board with these bigger checks.
These statements don’t mean that we will for sure see the new $2,000 check proposal pass but it is a good sign that there is some momentum growing within the GOP for these larger payments.
The progressive group in the House of Representatives known as the “squad” introduced their own bill for $2,000 stimulus checks or “survival checks” as they are calling them.
The squad bill was spearheaded by Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; and Pramila Jayapal D-Wash.
“This holiday season, families are being forced to make incredibly difficult decisions, such as whether they should keep their lights on or buy groceries,” Tlaib said.
“Providing $2,000 survival checks would give those struggling right now a lifeline as we continue to fight to defeat COVID-19. It’s time for Trump to stop bluffing and get the members of his party in line so that the government can provide this long-overdue relief to people across the country during this time of great need.”
Honestly, I think survival checks is a pretty fitting description for how many people feel about their need for the upcoming stimulus checks so I’m not even mad at that language.
Ayanna Pressley added: “We’ve been fighting all along for robust survival checks to help people meet their most basic needs, and the broad support that has emerged is a testament to the power of the people and the urgency of this moment. $2,000 in direct cash assistance will help families weather the crisis while we continue fighting for additional relief that meets the scale and scope of the hurt so many are feeling. Let’s get it done.”
This squad bill is distinct from the bill introduced by representative Richard Neal that changed the number of the coronavirus stimulus bill to $2,000 from the $600 current limitation.
This is a standalone bill.
So where do things currently stand?
Well, the nearly 6,000 page stimulus bill was flown down to Mar-a-Lago where Trump is spending Christmas for him to review.
Nobody really knows what Trump is going to do.
He still could let the legislation die by resorting to a rare pocket veto although it is not clear that that would be his preference given all of the backlash that could come from it.
I would imagine that Trump will want to wait until after Monday to take action, so the bigger question is what will happen with the vote on Monday for increased stimulus checks?
It’s very likely that this would pass the democrat controlled House but getting increased stimulus checks to pass through the Senate is an altogether different task.
It does not seem like a very likely outcome that’s for sure.
GOP members have already voiced opposition to this idea and they already shut down the vote that took place on Thursday for bigger checks (although that would have required unanimous votes).
Sen. Roy Blunt bluntly said, “I would be surprised if we dealt with” the $2,000 checks.
In order for the checks to pass there would need to be a minimum of 60 votes in favor which may not be obtainable in this Senate.
However, stranger things have happened with these stimulus talks and this is 2020 so anything could happen.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.