Senate Republicans once again have blocked an effort to hold a vote on boosting the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.
Republican leaders such as Mitch McConnell have criticized the payments, calling them “socialism for rich people.”
Other members in the Senate have responded to this criticism such as Bernie Sanders.
“That is what socialism for the rich is about,” Sanders said.
“Socialism for the rich is not—in the midst of this terrible pandemic—putting a $2,000 check into the hands of working families.”
“I see, if I may say so, a bit of hypocrisy here,” he added.
Unfortunately, today seems to be the last day that it would be possible for the checks to be increased from $600 to $2,000 during this Congress session.
This does not mean that bigger stimulus checks or more stimulus checks cannot happen in the future, though.
For example, Biden has already discussed sending a third round of payments.
Those talks will likely not begin until after inauguration day and it will be interesting to see how long those talks drag out.
At this point, it seems highly likely that another stimulus package will be coming before everything is said and done but if the last nine months have taught us anything it is that these things can be a process.
So unless something unexpected happens in the next 48 hours or so, most likely the payments going out to Americans will be capped at $600 for the time being.
The Senate met today for a rare New Year’s Day session to talk $2,000 stimulus checks and it appears today will be the last day for Congress to pass the bigger stimulus checks during this session.
Time is ticking as the next session of Congress begins at noon on Sunday.
That means that if the $2,000 stimulus checks are not approved by the Senate before then, the bill that passed the House will simply die.
That is not the end of the world because the bill could be picked up and passed through the House once again in 2021 but it will reset the process and mean that things will have to drag out much further.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still is insisting that the $2,000 stimulus checks be part of a bill that includes other controversial measures related to establishing a voter fraud commission and liability protections for tech companies.
Meanwhile, Democrats just want a chance for the $2,000 stimulus check measure to go to a vote, especially since there are some Republicans on board.
“For once, we have progressive Democrats, conservative Republicans, the president himself and not to mention of course the majority — the vast majority of the American people singing from the same songbook in support of these checks,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Virtually every poll and survey that you can find on the internet right now shows that the majority of Americans support higher stimulus checks.
Most feel that the $600 payments are simply not enough which should be a huge red flag to lawmakers.
It’s true that sending out these checks will mean some people getting funds that they don’t need but that is no reason to punish the American people.
Remember, lawmakers have had about nine months to craft the next stimulus check provision.
Nine months is plenty of time to develop something tailored that does not overcompensate individuals who are not in need.
But despite all that time, nothing was done.
So now we are stuck in a situation where millions of people need more than a mere $600 but some lawmakers keep pointing to the fact that the solution is not tailored enough.
In my opinion, that should not be a valid excuse given how much time Congress had to draw up a plan for tailored relief.
It appears that today will be the last chance to approve the larger stimulus checks at least during this Congress session and this was reiterated by Schumer.
“If the Senate does not take action today, $2,000 checks will not become law before the end of Congress, and they will know that Leader McConnell and the Republican majority have prevented them from getting the checks, plain and simple,” Schumer said.
We should be hearing news about some votes in the Senate today and I will update this article as we get more news.
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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.