UPDATED 1:50 PM PT – Saturday, December 26, 2020
Members of the Republican party debate the President’s push to raise the stimulus package from $600 to $2000.
In a tweet on Saturday, President Trump said he “simply wants to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2020
“It’s called the COVID relief bill,” the President said. “But it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
President Trump’s desired revisions sent lawmakers on Capitol Hill scrambling, with some saying the changes are doable while others saying they are not.
I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in “pork”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2020
On Thursday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) warned the President that attempting to change the bipartisan agreement in the Senate wouldn’t pass. He urged him to sign the year-end deal.
However, Republican senator and long-time ally of President Trump, Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), praised the President’s critique of the bill. He added that the biggest winner of the proposal would be the American people.
Both are reasonable demands, and I hope Congress is listening. The biggest winner would be the American people.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 26, 2020
Even Democrats have widely supported the re-working of the bill. For example, Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) said the party is ready to “meet him at his offer.” Other major Democrat leaders also expressed their support, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She responded to the President’s tweet with one of her own.
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020
The deal, which includes $10 million for ”gender programs” in Pakistan as well as money for two new national mall museums and millions for “internet freedom,” has faced criticism for its lack of focus on COVID-19 aid.
The bill arrived in Florida, where the President is staying for the holidays. It awaits his signature.
Officials of both parties worry the deal, which is months in the making, will be vetoed by President Trump without major changes to the legislation.