On Sunday (Dec. 27), Donald Trump signed a pandemic stimulus package that will include $600 direct payments for Americans — but a larger check may still be on the way. On Monday (Dec. 28), the U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000. However, the bill still needs a two-thirds majority vote to be passed in the Senate before heading to Trump’s desk to be signed.
Trump has supported the $2,000 payments, but the effort has been criticized by some Republicans for raising the overall tab on the stimulus package. Last week, House Republicans blocked Democrats from passing a bill for the larger check, but ultimately flip-flopped and allowed the increased payment on Monday.
On Twitter, Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady argued that the $2,000 checks would “do nothing” to help boost the economy or get people back to work.
“We can do better,” he wrote.
However, many others disagree. Sen. Bernie Sanders has called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the increased check to the floor for a vote. Sanders said on Twitter that if McConnell does not bring the stimulus check to a vote, then he will object to the vote to override Trump’s defense funding bill veto, which would keep Congress working past New Year’s Day.
“The House passed a $2,000 direct payment for working people. Now it’s the Senate’s turn,” Sanders tweeted. “If McConnell doesn’t agree to an up or down vote to provide the working people of our country a $2,000 direct payment, Congress will not be going home for New Year’s Eve. Let’s do our job.”
Last week, Trump threatened not to sign the stimulus package unless checks were increased to $2,000 and the bill’s “wasteful and unnecessary items” were removed.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000; or $4,000 for a couple,” he said during an address. “I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation.”
However, Trump ultimately signed the bill on Sunday evening.