Nearly half of Americans blame Republicans and McConnell, and 32% blame Democrats and Pelosi for the lack of $2,000 stimulus checks, a new poll shows

Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell, Congress
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

  • Nearly half of Americans believe that “Republicans in Congress and Senator Mitch McConnell” was to blame for the inability to pass the $2,000 stimulus checks, according to a new poll published by the progressive think tank Data for Progress.
  • Nearly one-third said the failure to pass the $2,000 checks was due to “Democrats in Congress and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” according to the same poll.
  • House lawmakers voted in favor of bumping the second round stimulus checks to $2,000 from $600, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider a standalone bill to increase the check amount.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Nearly half of respondents to a newly released poll blamed Republican lawmakers and Senat Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for Congress’ inability to agree on $2,000 stimulus checks. 

The new poll, published Friday by the left-leaning think tank Data for Progress, revealed that 47% of 1,166 people surveyed responded that “Republicans in Congress and Senator Mitch McConnell” were to blame for the delay in reaching a consensus on the checks.

In comparison, 32% said it was “Democrats in Congress and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” Just 15% of respondents said President Donald Trump was to blame. 

After months of failures and stalled negotiations, lawmakers finally came to a consensus on a new coronavirus relief package at the end of December. President Trump initially refused to sign the deal, complaining about various provisions and urging that Congress include $2,000 stimulus checks, before eventually signing the bill on Sunday. The signed bill includes $600 stimulus checks. 

After the bill was signed, House lawmakers voted on a separate bill to bump the $600 stimulus checks up to $2,000. But the bill faces a roadblock in the Senate – McConnell recently rebuffed efforts to pass a standalone bill to increase the stimulus checks, Business Insider’s Oma Seddiq reported.


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Republican Sen. Toomey to Trump: ‘You don’t get everything you want, even if you are the president’

pat toomey
Sen. Pat Toomey.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey urged President Donald Trump to sign the coronavirus relief bill, even if it may not meet all of his demands. 

“You don’t get everything you want even if you are the President of the United States,” Sen. Pat Toomey said on “Fox News Sunday,” noting that “time is running out.”

Following much-prolonged contention, lawmakers came to a consensus on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package last week that included $600 direct payments for American adults and $300 unemployment insurance to span over 11 weeks, Business Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported. 

Sen. Toomey had initially argued to limit the Federal Reserve’s lending powers, which became a major sticking point before lawmakers reached a compromise on the bill’s language about this matter over a late-night call between Sen. Toomey and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Business Insider’s Tom Porter reported.

But, President Trump did not sign the proposed coronavirus relief package before the end of Saturday, citing that the $600 direct payments to Americans must be increased to $2,000. Democratic lawmakers pushed to increase the direct payments up to $2,000, but House Republicans pushed back against their move to do so, according to Business Insider’s Zeballos-Roig. 

“I think what he ought to do is sign this bill and then make the case. Congress can pass another bill,” Toomey said. “But we’ve got a bill right now that his administration helped negotiate. I think we ought to get that done.”

The inability to pass the legislation has come at the cost of at least one week of unemployment benefits for millions of jobless Americans. 

A spokesperson for the White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on Sunday. 




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This map shows how much the $600 stimulus check is worth in every state

New York City
$600 at the national average price level translates into just $516 in New York State, after adjusting for cost-of-living.

Over the weekend, Congress finally came to an agreement on a new stimulus package intended to fight the ongoing economic turmoil stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. One of the major features of the bill, which is expected to see a vote late Monday, is a $600 direct payment to most adults in the US, along with an extra $600 per child to families.

Of course, $600 will go a lot further in some parts of the country than others.

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released its latest cost-of-living estimates across US as of 2019. These “regional price parities” show how expensive goods and services are in different states, relative to the national average.

We can use the regional price parities to get an idea of how much $600 is actually worth to consumers in each state. The BEA releases price parities every year, indexed to a national average of 100, with values for a state below 100 indicating a lower cost of living than the national average and values higher than 100 meaning more expensive than average goods and services.

In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, New York State had a regional price parity of 116.3, meaning that prices in the state tended to be about 16.3% higher than average. Given that, $600 at the national average price level would be worth just $516 in the Empire State.

Meanwhile, Arkansas had a regional price parity of 84.7, meaning that prices in that state were about 15.3% lower than the national average. So, a $600 stimulus check at the national average price would be worth $708 in Arkansas after this cost-of-living adjustment.

Following the same logic, this map shows how far a $600 stimulus check would go in each state. Hover over a state to see the regional-price-parity-adjusted value of $600 in that state:


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Congressional leaders strike a long-awaited stimulus deal: $600 checks and $300 federal weekly unemployment benefits for Americans

Pelosi McConnell Schumer
From left to right: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

  • Top congressional leaders clinched a stimulus deal after months of on-again, off-again negotiations.
  • The agreement is expected to contain $600 stimulus checks and $300 federal weekly unemployment benefits.
  • Votes on the package are expected to take place on Monday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Congressional leaders on Sunday struck a long-awaited deal on a $900 billion federal rescue package, clearing final policy hurdles and paving the way for passage amid an especially dark stretch of the pandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement from the Senate floor on Sunday afternoon.

“The four leaders of the Senate and House finalized an agreement,” the Kentucky Republican said, adding the plan would total $900 billion. “It will be another major rescue package for the American people.”

Negotiations kicked off earlier this week in a series of back-to-back meetings between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The group signaled it was making steady progress in the last few days.

Pelosi and Schumer released a statement announcing the breakthrough as well, saying “we are going to crush the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people.”

Congressional Democratic leaders announced the package contains:

  • $600 stimulus checks for adults, plus an extra $600 per child.
  • $300 weekly federal unemployment insurance.
  • $284 billion in extra small business aid through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • $25 billion in emergency rental assistance along with an extension of the eviction moratorium.

Congressional leaders are setting up a swift timetable. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, said the chamber would pass a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open an extra day. They’re also attempting to pass a $1.4 trillion spending bill to fund the government into next year.

It could lead to a rapid-fire series of votes in the House and Senate on Monday, only hours before the deadline for government funding expires at midnight. Lawmakers will have a very slim margin for error as they try to pass legislation and avert a government shutdown.

Senior Republicans and Democrats want to merge both pieces of legislation, meaning that lawmakers could have only hours to review a broad tax-and-spending package costing over $2 trillion. 

The agreement comes as the economic recovery is showing signs of slowing down with no new federal aid in nine months. States are enacting new restrictions to suppress the rapid spread of the virus. There’s been a steady uptick in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the past three weeks, and job growth is in danger of fizzling out. The economy has regained just over half of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April.

But virus cases and deaths are reaching new highs. The pandemic has continued devastating the lives of Americans, with many small businesses are on the brink of financial ruin. A new study from the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame indicated 7.8 million people had fallen into poverty since late July.

Half of all small businesses in the country may have to close for good in the next year, according to a survey from the US Chamber of Commerce.

Congress is running up against the expiration of multiple federal benefit programs set up in the spring. Nearly 14 million people are threatened with the loss of all their unemployment assistance if some federal measures are not renewed, per Labor Department data.

A moratorium on evictions also expires December 31, putting millions of Americans at risk of losing their homes.

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