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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Tlaib revives call for $2,000 stimulus checks after Trump complains $600 payments are 'ridiculously low'

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 10:36 AM

click to enlarge U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlain - RASHIDA TLAIB/COURTESY PHOTO
  • Rashida Tlaib/Courtesy photo
  • U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlain

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of only two House Democrats to vote against the $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package, is calling on colleagues to amend the relief bill to increase direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2,000.

Tlaib, D-Detroit, renewed her push for bigger payments after President Donald Trump on Tuesday surprised lawmakers by threatening to sink the massive relief package.

“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in a video posted on his Twitter feed.

Tlaib and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., drafted an amendment to include the higher payments.

“Send the bill back, and we will put in the $2,000 we’ve been fighting for that your party has been blocking,” Tlaib tweeted Tuesday night.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she supports the higher payments, tweeting that “Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent.”

“Let’s do it!” she wrote.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., echoed Pelosi’s support.

“We spent months trying to secure $2000 checks but Republicans blocked it,” Schumer tweeted. “Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we’re glad to pass more aid Americans need.”

Tlaib was among 17 progressive Democrats who were pushing for $2,000 stimulus checks.

"This type of direct assistance has proven to be critical to lifting people out of poverty and have been among the most effective programs to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic," the Democrats said in a letter to Republican and Democratic leadership.

It’s unclear whether Trump can persuade enough Republicans to support the higher payments. The Senate passed the relief package earlier this week by a 92-6 vote, and then it cleared the House by a 359-53 vote.

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