House Democrats responded to President Trump’s call to increase stimulus payments to $2,000 per adult by saying they’re ready to bring the measure to the floor by “unanimous consent” this week.
Driving the news: Trump indicated in a video Tuesday evening that he won’t sign the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill and $1.4 trillion government funding measure passed by Congress if it’s not amended to increase stimulus payments.
- Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was involved in negotiating the bill, said Monday that the $600 checks passed by Congress would go out next week.
- But Trump said he’s asking Congress to send him an amended bill, calling on lawmakers to “increase the ridiculously low” amount Americans would receive for COVID relief to $2,000 per adult or $4,000 for a couple, and “get rid of wasteful and unnecessary items” in the spending bill.
What they’re saying: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), tweeted, “Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a Twitter post, “House Democrats have fought for months to provide relief to the American people, which Republicans rejected at every turn. Now that the President has agreed to direct payments of $2000, we will ask for unanimous consent to pass a bill this week to give Americans this assistance.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urged Trump to sign the current bill “to help people and keep the government open.”
- “We’re glad to pass more aid Americans need,” Schumer tweeted. “Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again.”
The big picture: Trump’s surprise announcement on Tuesday could delay desperately needed aid for millions of Americans if the president decides not to sign the package as it stands. It also risks a government shutdown on Dec. 28.