President Trump called on Congress Tuesday night to deliver more pandemic relief to Americans by increasing the $600 stimulus payment included in the proposed COVID-19 economic stimulus plan to $2,000, prompting widespread support from progressive lawmakers across the country.
In a video posted to Twitter, Trump said he is asking Congress to amend the bill, which was brought forward Monday, and “increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple. I am also asking Congress to get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill.”
Trump continued that the bill delivered too much money to foreign countries, but not enough to Americans, signaling he may not sign it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed Trump’s push to amend the bill, tweeting out late Tuesday “let’s do it.”
“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!”
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! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib said they already had language prepared for an amended bill, pushing for $2,000 stimulus checks for individuals and $4,000 for couples, striking the $600 and $1,200 respective proposals from the bill.
Mass. Representative Ayanna Pressley backed her colleagues’ support for the amendment, calling Trump’s move a “hard line in support of what progressives have been fighting for, literally all year.” Representative Ilhan Omar also tweeted that she was “in.”
The Occupant of the White House taking a hard line in support of what Progressives have been fighting for, literally all year, to spite McConnell.— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 23, 2020
Honestly, whatever gets my constituents survival checks.
People’s lives are at stake.
Survival checks now. pic.twitter.com/FsADptgffS
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders also encouraged the proposed amendment, asking Trump to work with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his “Republican friends” to “stop opposing it and we can provide working class Americans with $2,000.” Sanders, along with Mass. Senator Ed Markey and California Senator Kamala Harris, proposed a bill that pushed for $2,000 direct payment to individuals in July.
That's great! I first introduced a bill to provide a $2,000 direct payment with @SenKamalaHarris & @EdMarkey 7 months ago. Now, Mr. President, get Mitch McConnell and your Republican friends to stop opposing it and we can provide working class Americans with $2,000. Let's do it. https://t.co/fKvqBsqM0k— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 23, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Tuesday noted that the GOP was the side that contended for smaller direct payments.
“We spent months trying to secure $2000 checks but Republicans blocked it,” tweeted Schumer Tuesday.
“Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we’re glad to pass more aid Americans need,” Schumer continued. “Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again.”
We spent months trying to secure $2000 checks but Republicans blocked it— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 23, 2020
Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we're glad to pass more aid Americans need
Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again
“Half a loaf is better than none” was the pragmatic takeaway after Congress approved the bill Monday night.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker Monday called the bill “a step in the right direction,” but acknowledged there was more work to be done, saying it was clear Congress would need to provide additional aid in the months to come.
After seven months of Mitch McConnell's obstruction, we finally have a COVID-19 relief package.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) December 22, 2020
This bill is a step in the right direction, but there's more work left to be done.
It is clear that Congress will need to provide additional aid in the months to come.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Harris applauded the relief package, but also said the work was “far from over.”
I applaud this relief package, but our work is far from over. Starting in the new year, Congress will need to immediately get to work on support for our COVID-19 plan.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 22, 2020
My message to everyone out there struggling right now: help is on the way. https://t.co/ktET5loEnm
The bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill is critical to helping fight this pandemic, including support for vaccine distribution and help for communities that have been hit the hardest.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 22, 2020
But let's be clear—our work isn't over. The American people desperately need more help.