President Trump repeated his calls for Congress to approve $2,000 coronavirus stimulus checks in a Christmas Day tweet, announcing he has been taking meetings over the holiday to secure a deal with lawmakers.
“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!” Trump wrote on Friday afternoon.
The president, who is spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort, refused to sign a $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill before leaving Washington on Wednesday.
After months of inaction, Congress passed a $900 billion aid package but Trump announced at the eleventh hour that he was blocking it, calling it a “disgrace.”
He called for Congress to amend the legislation and increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, while also cutting down on foreign aid and other stuffing in the regular appropriations bill.
The House will meet on Monday to vote on stand-alone legislation for $2,000 stimulus checks.
But not all Republicans agree with the president’s demands.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), one of the top Republicans in the Senate, said it would be “a mistake” to not sign the coronavirus relief bill.
He predicted the $2,000 checks — higher than the $1,200 payments passed at the peak of the pandemic in March — would not pass the GOP-controlled Senate.
“It took us a long time to get to where we are. I think reopening that bill would be a mistake,” he said.
“The best way out of this is for the president to sign the bill, and I still hope that’s what he decides.”
On Thursday, members of the “Squad” introduced their own measure to provide $2,000 “survival checks” to struggling American families.
“This holiday season, families are being forced to make incredibly difficult decisions, such as whether they should keep their lights on or buy groceries,” Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said in a statement.
“They are suffering to no fault of their own. We must protect public health and the economic well-being of those we serve. Providing $2,000 survival checks would give those struggling right now a lifeline as we continue to fight to defeat COVID-19.”
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