Outgoing President Donald Trump is pushing Congress to release a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans in the next relief package.
Trump, who is still fighting a losing battle in overturning the election results, told Fox News‘ Brian Kilmeade he wants a second set of checks to be sent out. In typical Trump fashion, he blamed Democrats for the lack of a deal.
“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people,” Trump told Kilmeade Sunday. “I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal.”
Trump’s comments are part of a push to get relief to Americans before the end of the year. The Washington Post reported Trump has privately said he would support direct cash payments to Americans of up to $2,000.
Congress is still fighting over the price of a second coronavirus relief package and what should be included in the package. A bipartisan group of Senators unveiled a $908 billion relief package two weeks ago that has been supported by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The package includes $180 billion for the $300 weekly unemployment benefit, $240 billion for states and local governments, and $300 billion for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The package also includes liability protection for businesses that stay open through the pandemic. The bill does not include a second round of stimulus payments.
However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the bill hours after it was released as he continues to push a small-scale, targeted relief bill.
Many Americans have been struggling since many of the benefits from the CARES Act ended in September. Additionally, the $300 weekly federal benefit, unemployment insurance, an eviction ban and federal student loan deferrals are all set to expire at the end of the year.
Sens. Bernie Sander (I-VT) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo) introduced a bill last week that would add an amendment for a second round of $1,200 checks to a government spending bill that needs to pass by Friday to avoid a government shutdown.
“It would be a dereliction of duty if Congress adjourns for Christmas without having a vote on providing working families with direct payments,” Hawley said in a statement on the bill. “Working people are struggling. And they should be the first people given relief, not last.”
Along with killing more than 308,000 Americans, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed Americans to the brink.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 308,000 Americans, but its also broken many people who have not been infected. Many Americans have spent the last three months visiting food pantries and community fridges for the first time and workers ranging from airline pilots to office janitors have seen their entire industries disappear along with their savings and dreams.