House passes bill to increase $600 stimulus checks to $2,000. It now goes to the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
The House passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus to help keep the US economy afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The House passed a bill to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 in a vote on Monday. The vote passed 275 to 134.
  • President Donald Trump signed the $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief package on Sunday, renewing his calls for Congress to raise the amount of the checks to $2,000.
  • GOP leaders in the Senate have signaled their opposition to raising the dollar amount of the checks.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The House of Representatives passed a bill to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 in a vote on Monday.

The vote passed 275 to 134. Forty-four House Republicans joined the Democrats in approving the bill.

President Donald Trump signed the $900 billion bipartisan coronavirus relief package – which includes the $600 stimulus checks – on Sunday, renewing his calls for Congress to raise the amount of the checks to $2,000.

GOP leaders in the Senate, however, have signaled their opposition to raising the dollar amount of the checks. The addition of $2,000 stimulus checks would likely push the total amount of the stimulus package well over $1 trillion – a price point which has some GOP opposition.

In his statement Sunday, the president said he wants “far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” adding that he is demanding “many rescissions” to the bill.

Following Trump’s criticism of the relief bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Sunday statement that the president to “immediately call on Congressional Republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats.”

“Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” Pelosi continued.

It is not immediately clear if congressional GOP members will answer the president’s call for higher checks as the bill is sent over to the Senate for a final vote in Trump’s waning weeks in the White House.

President-elect Joe Biden has signaled his support for $2,000 direct payments earlier Monday, showing renewed promise that if the current bill is rejected in the Senate, that it could be resurrected under the incoming administration and new Congress.

This story is breaking. Check back for more details.

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Jobless benefits for about 14 million Americans expire, as Trump still refuses to sign the pandemic aid package containing $600 stimulus checks

donald trump hands
US President Donald Trump.

  • Jobless benefits for millions of Americans expired Saturday.
  • A $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package approved by Republicans and Democrats would extend special unemployment benefits, but President Donald Trump has so far refused to sign it.
  • Trump is unhappy with the massive bill, in part because he says that one-off $600 stimulus checks for struggling Americans are not large enough. He wants $2,000 checks.
  • Trump has not vetoed the bill and could still sign it in the coming days. The package contains $1.4 trillion for normal government spending — without it, a government shutdown looms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jobless benefits for millions of Americans expired on Saturday, after President Donald Trump refused to sign into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package.

Trump is unhappy with the massive bill, in part because he says that one-off $600 stimulus checks for struggling Americans are not large enough. He has demanded the amount be raised to $2,000 – but House Republicans on Thursday blocked a Democratic attempt to increase the size of the checks

Trump stunned Republicans and Democrats when he said Wednesday that he was unhappy with the massive bill, which provides $892 billion in badly needed coronavirus relief, including extending special unemployment benefits expiring on Saturday, and $1.4 trillion for normal government spending.

Without Trump’s signature, about 14 million people could lose those extra benefits, according to Labor Department data. A partial government shutdown will begin on Tuesday unless Congress can agree a stop-gap government funding bill before then.

The bill was flown to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on Thursday. While the outgoing president’s strategy for the bill remains unclear, he has not vetoed it and could still sign it in the coming days.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to hold a vote to approve $2,000 stimulus checks on Monday.

After months of wrangling, Republicans and Democrats agreed to the $2.3 trillion package on December 20, with the support of the White House. Trump, who hands over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on January 20, did not object to terms of the deal before Congress voted it through on Monday night.

But since then, he has complained that the bill gives too much money to special interests, cultural projects, and foreign aid. He has also said its one-time $600 stimulus checks to millions of struggling Americans were too small – a view supported by Democrats, who have long-argued for a larger stimulus package.

“Why would politicians not want to give people $2,000, rather than only $600?…Give our people the money!” the billionaire president tweeted on Christmas Day, much of which he spent golfing.

Read more: Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here’s how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

Many economists agree the bill’s aid is too low but say the immediate support is still welcome and necessary.

A source familiar with the situation told Reuters that Trump’s objection to the bill caught many White House officials by surprise. 

On Saturday, he was scheduled to remain in Mar-a-Lago. Biden, whose November 3 electoral victory Trump refuses to acknowledge, is spending the holiday in his home state of Delaware and had no public events scheduled for Saturday.

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Donald Trump renewed his calls for $2,000 checks, but it’s unclear if he’ll veto the bipartisan stimulus package

Donald Trump wildcard
US President Donald Trump looks on during a ceremony presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to wrestler Dan Gable in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on December 7, 2020.

  • President Donald Trump reiterated his support for $2,000 direct payments to Americans in a tweet on Friday.
  • “Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600?” he wrote.
  • It’s still unclear if Trump will sign or veto the stimulus relief package, which has been flown out to him in Florida.
  • A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has once again called for $2,000 direct payments instead of the $600 checks currently included in the stimulus package.

“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida,” he tweeted Friday afternoon. “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!”

It’s still unclear is if Trump will sign – or veto – the $900 billion stimulus relief package, which was flown out to him on Thursday for his signature. The president is currently in Florida where he’s been out golfing.

Trump first criticized the stimulus package Tuesday, saying he would ask Congress to amend the bill to raise direct payments from $600 to $2,000. Following Trump’s support for $2,000 checks, Democrats quickly moved to try and increase the size of the checks.

Democratic leaders attempted to use “unanimous consent” – where every lawmaker had to approve the measure – to increase the size of the checks, but House Republicans ultimately blocked the measure, Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she that she would bring the House back into session on Monday to vote on $2,000 checks.

If a deal isn’t reached, about 14 million Americans are at risk of losing their unemployment benefits on Saturday, according to The Washington Post. The pandemic has already upended the job market, leaving permanent damage in its wake.

The current stimulus package offers an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits. Research from this past summer found that the CARES Act – which included $600 in weekly unemployment benefits and a $1,200 stimulus check for many Americans – likely kept 12 million Americans out of poverty.

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

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INSIDER Poll: A $600 COVID-19 stimulus check is way too small, and most Americans think it should be over $1,500

protest stimulus
Protesters rally demanding economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic in New York City on August 5, 2020.

  • Republicans and Democrats in Congress agreed upon a new $900 billion coronavirus relief bill on Sunday which includes sending out the second round of stimulus checks for adults, just half the amount of the first round of stimulus checks in April.
  • According to Insider polling, 62% of respondents believe that the $600 checks are too little.
  • Additionally, 76% of respondents said the payments should be greater than $1,000 and 43% said the checks should be $2,000 or more.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The second round of stimulus checks was agreed upon on Sunday by Democrats and Republicans in Congress as part of a $900 billion stimulus deal. The new checks will amount to $600 per adult under certain income limits -half the amount of the first round of stimulus checks of $1,200 which were sent out in April. 

According to recent polling from Insider and SurveyMonkey, the new checks are not enough. The majority of survey respondents, 62%, said the $600 stimulus checks are too small.

When asked what the “right amount of money would be for a one-time federal economic stimulus payment at this time,” survey responses varied far and wide, but the median requested amount was $1,500 – just $300 more than the first stimulus check. A further breakdown of responses are as follows:

  • 76% of respondents said the payment should be $1,000 or more.
  • 43% of respondents said the payment should be $2,000 or more.
  • 20% of respondents said that the payment should be less than the congressionally agreed-upon $600.

This analysis comes from a SurveyMonkey Audience poll taken on December 21. The poll collected 1,123 respondents who were asked about coronavirus, the congressional stimulus package, as well as a number of other questions.

In a video tweeted Tuesday night, President Donald Trump said that the $600 payments were insufficient, though the amount was introduced by the president’s appointed Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, as reported by The Washington Post.

“It really is a disgrace,” Trump said, later establishing his intention to ask Congress “to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 dollars.

In response, Democrats in Congress quickly jumped at the chance to increase the size of the stimulus checks. Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib announced late Tuesday night that she and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had already drafted an amendment to the coronavirus relief bill to increase the checks to $2,000.

On Sunday, White House spokesperson Ben Williamson said that Trump planned to sign the agreed-upon $900 billion stimulus deal. But after the lame-duck president’s recent push against the package, it’s unclear if that will happen anytime soon.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Polling data collected 1,123 respondents on December 21. All polls carried approximately a 3 percentage point margin of error individually.

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

trump pentagon
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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McConnell included $600 checks in COVID-19 stimulus plans after hearing that GOP opposition could cost them the Georgia Senate runoffs, report says

Perdue Loeffler
A composite image of Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Georgia on November 19, 2020.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came to back $600 COVID-19 stimulus checks after hearing that prior opposition was hurting them in Georgia, according to The New York Times.
  • Citing a private call, the Times said McConnel described said Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue  “getting hammered” on the issue.
  • The Georgia runoffs on January 5 will decide the balance of power in the Senate.
  • Checks of $1,200 were sent out earlier in the year, but had dropped off the radar in the latest negotiations until coming roaring back this week.
  • McConnell’s intervention helped put them back on the agenda, although Democrats are angered that this came at the apparent cost of one month of unemployment benefits.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to support $600 checks in COVID-19 stimulus negotiations was motivated by fears for the Georgia runoff elections, according to The New York Times.

Two sources told the paper McConnell’s U-turn on supporting the checks came after hearing that Republican opposition to more stimulus checks was hurting ongoing campaigns in Georgia.

Times sources said that McConnell warned fellow GOP lawmakers that Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are “getting hammered” over the checks.

In a private phone conversation Wednesday, McConnell said that backing another round of direct payments to Americans could help, the Times reported. 

The Georgia runoffs, to be held on January 5, will decide the balance of power in the Senate, determining how much of a free hand President-elect Joe Biden can expect when he takes office. 

McConnell has been the most stubborn force in the stimulus negotiations, consistently sticking to his slimmed-down proposal of around $500 billion.

Meanwhile, leading Democrats have whittled their initial $2.2 trillion demand down by at least half, accepting a $908 billion bipartisan proposal as a basis for negotiations.

That proposal kicked stimulus checks into the long grass. But on Wednesday, McConnell made a surprise pivot to supporting stimulus checks of around $600-700.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had introduced a White House proposal last week that included $600 checks, but it also made a massive cut to unemployment benefits, turning off Democrats.

As negotiations drag on, progressives such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders have continued to make the case for $1,200 checks.

Democrats are also unhappy that the $600 checks proposal comes at the apparent cost of shrinking unemployment benefits by a month. 

The final shape of what both parties are likely to agree on is starting to emerge, with a price tag of around $900 billion. According to the Associate Press (AP), this could include:

  • $300 billion in support for businesses, in another round of PPP
  • $600 checks to all, and a further $300 to the long-term unemployed
  • Renewal of unemployment benefits
  • $25 billion to help renters struggling to make payments
  • $10 billion for the US Postal Service

Likely to be left by the wayside is around $160 billion to help state and local governments – a Democratic wish – and pandemic liability protections for businesses that the GOP has pushed for. 

Negotiations on the stimulus package are going down to the wire, with a deadline on Friday looming to avert a government shutdown. This could be extended. 

Negotiators had hoped to strike a deal after two in-person meetings on Wednesday, but left that night without a final agreement. 

“We’re still close and we’re going to get there,” said McConnell, as he left negotiations, according to the AP.

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