House GOP kills bid for $2,000 stimulus checks

MGN Online

The House of Representatives on Thursday failed to advance a measure that would increase direct payments to Americans under a certain income level to $2,000...

Posted: Dec 24, 2020 9:18 AM
Updated: Dec 28, 2020 11:35 AM

The House of Representatives on Thursday failed to advance a measure that would increase direct payments to Americans under a certain income level to $2,000 -- up from the $600 level passed earlier this week -- bringing lawmakers back to square one as they search for a way to appease President Donald Trump's demands.

House Democrats tried to quickly pass the bill by a unanimous consent request Thursday morning, but Republicans rejected the move, leaving the future of the $900 billion stimulus package -- and whether any changes will be added to it -- in doubt. That stimulus package was attached to a spending bill for the entire federal government, and a deadline for government funding expires Monday at midnight.

Democrats have seized on Trump's surprise objections to the bill in a bid to push Republicans to accept a higher amount for the stimulus checks -- and Republican lawmakers are now in a difficult spot where they will be forced to decide whether or not they will defy the President.

Democrats vowed their effort isn't over, promising to move to pass a bill to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000 with a full up-or-down vote on the House floor December 28.

'On Monday, I will bring the House back to session where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000. To vote against this bill is to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny them the relief they need,' Pelosi said in a statement.

'Hopefully by then the President will have already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep government open and to deliver coronavirus relief,' she said.

Earlier this week, Congress passed the massive Covid relief bill, which included up to $600 payments to all Americans making under certain income levels. Single people who earn up to $75,000 would receive the full $600 direct payment, and couples earning up to $150,000 would receive $1,200.

Passage of the rescue package through both chambers was an enormous undertaking and represented a bipartisan breakthrough after months of partisan stalemate and contentious disagreements.

One of the main sticking points that had to be overcome was a disagreement over how much the package should cost, with many Republicans warning that they could not accept a price tag that was too high.

After a deal finally came together, the President had been expected to back the package and the White House had indicated Trump would sign the legislation once it reached his desk.

But on Tuesday, Trump threw all that into question when he signaled he wouldn't sign the bill if Congress doesn't amend the legislation and raise the 'ridiculously low' $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 for individuals or $4,000 per couple.

Pelosi called on Trump to lead Republicans to accept the higher amount.

'If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,' Pelosi said.

Republicans countered the Democratic effort today with a proposal to strip out a piece of the spending package that included foreign aid -- an area Trump attacked after Congress cleared the bill. Those provisions, however, were largely in line with Trump's own budget request and were supported by the vast majority of Republicans. That effort was rejected by Democrats.

At a news conference following the House's adjournment until December 28, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin are still engaged in ongoing discussions over the Covid relief package -- despite the fact that Mnuchin helped negotiate the very deal that Trump surprisingly, and publicly, threw into doubt earlier this week.

Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of GOP leadership, says Republicans don't really know what Trump will do next, but that they are hopeful that he will not veto the stimulus funding bill.

'I have no idea what he plans to do,' Blunt said.

'We were assured that the President would sign the bill,' he told reporters after gaveling in a brief pro forma session. 'I have no reason to believe that Secretary Mnuchin didn't believe that.' Mnuchin served as the chief negotiator on behalf of the administration.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 479326

Reported Deaths: 9353
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32779484
Hinds30924582
DeSoto30319353
Jackson23542341
Rankin21235366
Lee14803219
Madison14120271
Jones13327223
Forrest13078236
Lauderdale11501303
Lowndes10377176
Lamar10163130
Pearl River9008217
Lafayette8193137
Hancock7404111
Oktibbeha6909122
Washington6900150
Monroe6459159
Neshoba6441201
Warren6387163
Pontotoc623093
Panola6203125
Bolivar6072144
Marshall6068121
Union571386
Pike5574135
Alcorn533289
Lincoln5283131
George466072
Scott454796
Leflore4444140
Prentiss443377
Tippah442180
Itawamba441599
Adams4376116
Tate4327101
Simpson4313112
Wayne430766
Copiah429587
Yazoo419686
Covington413292
Sunflower4123104
Marion4073104
Leake395486
Coahoma391098
Newton367274
Grenada3543104
Stone350359
Tishomingo333288
Attala324286
Jasper313162
Winston303091
Clay294173
Chickasaw286265
Clarke279890
Calhoun263940
Holmes261387
Smith248048
Yalobusha219647
Tallahatchie217550
Walthall209958
Greene206845
Lawrence205732
Perry198553
Amite197651
Webster195042
Noxubee177739
Montgomery171654
Jefferson Davis167442
Carroll161437
Tunica150834
Benton141533
Kemper138039
Claiborne126134
Choctaw126026
Humphreys125937
Franklin116328
Quitman103426
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson87333
Sharkey62320
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 778549

Reported Deaths: 13665
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1105871747
Mobile704651206
Madison49152610
Baldwin35946479
Shelby35796302
Tuscaloosa33410532
Montgomery32906672
Lee22231216
Calhoun20791397
Morgan19605326
Etowah18837449
Marshall17465272
Houston16452368
St. Clair15233293
Limestone14376182
Cullman14348246
Elmore14241256
Lauderdale13298278
Talladega12699230
DeKalb12036233
Walker10430323
Autauga9568133
Blount9555152
Jackson9235146
Coffee8728169
Colbert8426179
Dale8410170
Escambia6526114
Tallapoosa6501172
Covington6396163
Chilton6293141
Russell598555
Franklin5719100
Chambers5315133
Marion4734115
Dallas4665182
Clarke457076
Pike456294
Geneva4315116
Winston417192
Lawrence4086108
Bibb401680
Barbour341968
Marengo323183
Butler314988
Monroe314652
Pickens300470
Randolph299955
Henry298356
Hale289383
Cherokee284652
Fayette275672
Washington244848
Crenshaw235168
Clay225163
Macon217657
Cleburne217149
Lamar192140
Conecuh179646
Lowndes170158
Coosa166432
Wilcox155736
Bullock147742
Perry136036
Sumter124136
Greene120142
Choctaw72826
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