75% of Americans support Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill despite outcries from GOP lawmakers, a new poll finds

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Agustina Canamero, 81, and Pascual Perez, 84, hug and kiss through a plastic film screen to avoid contracting the coronavirus at a nursing home in Barcelona, Spain, on June 22, 2020.

  • President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is close to becoming law.
  • Republicans in Congress have blasted the bill, saying that it was not crafted in a bipartisan manner.
  • But according to a recent poll from Morning Consult, 3-in-4 Americans support the relief deal.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

As congressional Republicans blast President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill over a perceived lack of bipartisanship, three-in-four American voters support the bill, according to a new poll from Morning Consult and Politico.

The original “American Rescue Plan” COVID-19 relief bill passed in the House in late February in a tight 219-212 vote with zero Republicans voting in favor of the legislation. Later, following an all-night “vote-a-rama” in the Senate with discussions between both Republican and Democratic congressmen, the Senate ended in a 50-49 party-line vote with, again, zero Republicans voting for the bill, with Senate Republicans chastising the president and Democratic Party for a perceived lack of bipartisanship.

“Joe Biden gave an inauguration speech, we were all there, where he talked about unity and working together,” Sen. Ted Cruz said. “Where’s the unity and working together?”

But despite Biden’s presidential promises and the outcries of Conservative lawmakers, American voters appear to support the legislation in high numbers.

Morning Consult covid package poll
High level of support persists for $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package, according to Morning Consult.

Conducted between March 6-8, the recent Morning Consult survey shows overwhelming support – 90% – among Democrats, 71% support with Independents, and even 59% with Republican voters.

After the recent vote-a-rama in the Senate, Republican legislators came out in droves against the “pork” provisions added to the bill, or the appropriation of certain funds toward specific districts that are unrelated to the main point of the legislation.

“This bill is not what you think,” Republican Rep. Byron Donalds wrote in a tweet. “Less than 10% of this bill is for COVID, and the rest is pork and bailouts.”

But Donalds and his peers are incorrect, according to a fact check from PolitiFact, as the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said that 85% of the bill’s funding goes directly toward COVD-19 relief projects. The group said that the remaining 15% of the bill “is spent on long-standing policy priorities that are not directly related to the current crisis.”

Despite the mistruths spread by congressional Republicans that the legislation is inflated, only a third of US citizens believe that the relief package is too costly, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center. The survey also noted that a quarter of Americans think the relief bill is actually spending too little money and should be increased.

As it currently stands, the American Rescue Plan bill will send $1,400 in stimulus checks to people earning less than $75,000 per year and couples earning less than $150,000 will receive $1,400 per person, including children. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that unlike Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump, the stimulus checks will not include a signature from the president.

“This is not about him,” Psaki said. “It’s about the American people getting relief.”

The final draft of the relief package also includes expanded unemployment insurance benefits until September 6, $100 less than the original provision written in the House.

Biden and the Democrats attempted to increase the nation’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $15, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled that the wage increase could not be added to a reconciliation bill. Still, Sen. Bernie Sanders attempted to add an amendment to re-add the minimum wage increase to the legislation but was denied in a bipartisan 58-42 vote.

Members of the House are expected to vote to approve the package on Wednesday where unless changes are made to the bill once more, it will then move to Biden to sign into law.

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Bernie Sanders is ‘confident’ that the $15 minimum wage will remain in COVID-19 relief package

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

  • Sanders expressed confidence that the minimum wage hike will remain in the COVID-19 relief package.
  • The Senate parliamentarian will determine if the wage increase can be passed through reconciliation.
  • Sanders still faces resistance from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Saturday expressed confidence that the proposed minimum wage hike to $15 per hour will remain in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that congressional Democrats are aiming to pass through the budget reconciliation process.

President Joe Biden supports the minimum wage hike but has expressed doubt that it would be permissible under reconciliation rules. But, Sanders, the independent chairman of the Senate Budget Committee who caucuses with the Democrats, thinks the measure will pass muster with the Senate parliamentarian.

“Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is not ‘incidental’ to the federal budget and is permissible under the rules of reconciliation,” Sanders said in a statement to CNN. “The CBO [Congressional Budget Office] has found that the $15 minimum wage has a much greater impact on the federal budget than opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and repealing the individual mandate penalties – two provisions that the parliamentarian advised did not violate the Byrd Rule when Republicans controlled the Senate.”

He added: “I’m confident that the parliamentarian will advise next week that we can raise the minimum wage through the reconciliation process.”

The CBO has ruled that the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would have a substantial impact on the budget, which might meet the threshold of the Byrd Rule and be passed through the reconciliation process.

Sanders has insisted that reconciliation – which would rely on all 50 Democratic senators supporting the legislation – is the way to make the minimum wage increase happen.

“It’s gonna be in reconciliation if I have anything to say about it – it’s the only way we’re gonna get it passed,” he told Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig earlier this month.

But even if the parliamentarian rules in Sanders’ favor, he’ll still face resistance from moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Manchin told The Hill earlier this month that he could support raising the minimum wage to $11 an hour, which he said was “responsible and reasonable.”

“The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process,” Sinema told Politico last week. “It is not a budget item. And it shouldn’t be in there.”

The federal minimum wage, at $7.25 per hour, has been unchanged since July 2009.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez parodied GOP stance against $2,000 stimulus checks in a sarcastic tweet

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clapped back at a GOP congressman who opposed $2,000 stimulus checks, parodying his reason for opposing them.
  • The House passed a bill boosting the stimulus check totals on Monday. The vote now moves to the Senate, where passage is unlikely.
  • GOP Rep. Kevin Brady said he opposed $2,000 stimulus checks because the money would go toward paying off credit card debt and “new purchases online at Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Amazon.”
  • The congresswoman from New York replied to Brady’s statement with a parodied rephrasing of his reasoning.
  • “‘I don’t support $2k survival checks because it might help people get out of debt that our gov’t inaction helped put or keep them in in the first place.’ – GOP Congressman,” the progressive congresswoman tweeted Monday night.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clapped back at GOP congressman’s reasoning against $2,000 stimulus checks in a tweet Monday night.

President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan coronavirus relief package on Sunday, which included $600 stimulus payments for Americans, $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits into mid-March, $25 billion in rental assistance, as well as aid for small businesses and funding for education and vaccine distribution.

Upon announcing that he signed the bill, the president also reiterated his calls on Congress to raise the stimulus checks to $2,000 – a goal he shares with many Democrats and some Republicans.

On Monday, the House achieved the required two-thirds majority to pass a bill boosting the stimulus check totals.

The bill now moves to the GOP-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to pass. Though some in the GOP, like Sen. Marco Rubio, have signaled they support $2,000 checks.

Read more: Trump signs bipartisan coronavirus relief bill after calling on Congress to approve $2,000 stimulus checks

Some GOP voices, however, oppose the $2,000 stimulus checks. GOP Rep. Kevin Brady said on the House floor that he did not approve of increasing the stimulus checks, saying that the money would go toward paying off credit card debt and “new purchases online at Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Amazon.”

He argued that the money should be spent on helping small and mid-sized businesses. His speech was then paraphrased in a tweet by HuffPost’s Matt Fuller.

Ocasio-Cortez, a prominent progressive voice and advocate for increasing the stimulus checks, slammed Brady’s reasoning behind his opposition, replying to his statement with a parodied rephrasing.

“‘I don’t support $2k survival checks because it might help people get out of debt that our gov’t inaction helped put or keep them in in the first place.’ – GOP Congressman,” the progressive congresswoman tweeted Monday night.

In another tweet, Ocasio-Cortez tore into the group of GOP members who opposed lines of the package pushed by House Democrats, including the $2,000 stimulus checks.

“Notice how Republican Congressmen who like to claim they are the party of ‘personal responsibility’ refuse to take any responsibility themselves for blocking retroactive unemployment benefits, voting against $2k survival checks, stoking doubt about the pandemic to begin with, etc,” the New York congresswoman wrote.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders slams Trump as ‘unbelievably cruel’ for not signing coronavirus relief package and holding up unemployment benefits

Bernie Sanders
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized President Donald Trump for not signing the coronavirus relief package and blocking unemployment benefits as “unbelievably cruel.”
  • “[You] can’t diddle around with the bill. Sign the bill, Mr. President, and then immediately, Monday, Tuesday we can pass a $2,000 direct payment for the working families of this country,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
  • Trump did not sign the $900 billion coronavirus relief package that Republican and Democrat lawmakers had finally reached a consensus on last week.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized President Donald Trump for not signing the coronavirus relief package, which jeopardized unemployment benefits for millions of Americans. 

“What the president is doing right now is unbelievably cruel,” the Vermont Democrat said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “Many millions of people are losing their extended unemployment benefits. They’re going to be evicted from their apartments because the eviction moratorium is ending.”

Sanders has long advocated for a larger amount of direct payment to Americans than the $600 that has been proposed in the coronavirus relief package. Earlier this month, Sanders alongside other Democratic senators penned a letter that urged for a $1,200 direct payment and previously announced that he would oppose the coronavirus relief package unless it included the $1,200 direct payments.

“Yes, we do need to get 2,000 dollars out to every working-class individual in this country, 500 bucks for their kid,” Sanders said. “But you can’t diddle around with the bill. Sign the bill, Mr. President, and then immediately – Monday, Tuesday – we can pass a $2,000 direct payment for the working families of this country.”

Trump did not sign the $900 billion coronavirus relief package that Republican and Democrat lawmakers had finally reached a consensus on last week after a much-heated exchange until the very last moment. He criticized the proposal’s $600 stimulus checks as “ridiculously low” and called for the payments to be increased to $2000.

Since Trump didn’t sign the coronavirus relief package before the end of Saturday, millions of Americans have lost at least one week of unemployment benefits, Business Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported. 

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

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Trump reportedly throws his support behind the $900 billion stimulus deal brokered by Republicans and Democrats in Congress

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Trump urged Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill, but has called for larger stimulus checks.

  • President Donald Trump reportedly plans to sign the $900 billion stimulus deal brokered by Congress.
  • Senate and House leaders struck the long-awaited deal Sunday, ending months of failed negotiations.
  • The legislation will include $600 stimulus checks, $300 weekly unemployment benefits, small business aid, and funds for schools and universities.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump plans to sign the $900 billion stimulus deal brokered by Congress, White House spokesperson Ben Williamson reportedly said.

“President Trump has pushed hard for months to send Americans badly needed financial relief,” he said, according to Politico’s Jake Sherman. “We look forward to Congress sending a bill to his desk imminently for signature.”

The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Senate and House leaders struck the long-awaited deal Sunday, clearing hurdles that threatened to shut down the government.

Republicans and Democrats came to the agreement after months of failed negotiations. The legislation will include $600 stimulus checks, $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits, small business aid, and funds for schools and universities.

Trump urged Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill, but has called for larger checks on multiple occasions. On Saturday, the night before the deal was announced, the president called for Americans to receive “more money in direct payments.”

Congress is expected to vote on the package Monday, after which it would head to Trump’s desk to be signed.

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Trump wants Congress to approve stimulus checks for ‘more money than they’re talking about’

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President Donald Trump.

  • As his presidency nears its end, Donald Trump is once again asking Congress to include another round of coronavirus stimulus checks in the next relief package.
  • “Right now, I want to see checks — for more money than they’re talking about — going to people,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday.
  • Members of Congress are engaged in talks about a $908 billion bipartisan relief package that does not include any money for additional stimulus checks. 
  • It’s unclear whether Congress will pass this package before the Biden administration takes over on January 20.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is spending his final weeks in office urging Congress to include another round of coronavirus stimulus checks in the next relief package.

Speaking to Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, Trump said he wants stimulus checks to be approved for “more money” than the options currently on the table. 

“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 said in the interview, which aired Sunday morning

“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people,” he added.

After months of stalemate and inconclusive discussions, Congress has once again resumed relief talks, this time turning to a $908 billion bipartisan package that does not include any money for stimulus checks. 

In October, the Democratic-led House passed a $2.2 trillion package. But Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell struck it down and proposed a $500 billion bill as an alternative option. Then discussions reached another stalemate, as Democrats disagreed with the severe downsize in the amount of money allocated and Republicans refused to budge higher.

The last time Congress passed a stimulus was in May, which gave millions of Americans $1,200 each to offset the financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic. Since then, various signs, such as a dip in grocery spending, have suggested that Americans are hurting for cash.

With President-elect Joe Biden scheduled to take office on January 20, it’s unclear whether Congress will even negotiate the $908 billion measure in time for the bill to make it to Trump.

The proposal was intended to be a compromise between the two parties. But Republican lawmakers, including McConnell, are signaling that they are opposed to the package

The Republican Senate leader said Trump would not want to sign off on the current package as it stands.

“At the risk of repeating something we all know, making law will require not just the Senate’s approval, but also the signature of the President of the United States,” McConnell said in a statement earlier this month.

He said his own plan – which is a slimmed-down version of the $908 billion proposal – would go through.

As Business Insider’s Mia Jankowicz reported, neither the $908 billion package nor McConnell’s proposal includes additional money for another round of stimulus checks. 

The White House has been pushing for a second round of checks for weeks. 

Two senators are echoing the president’s pleas to Congress. Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders and Republican Sen. John Hawley have teamed up to urge Congress to allocate enough money in the next stimulus bill to cut every American who earns up to $75,000 a $1,200 check.

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