The House of Representatives will vote early next week on a stimulus standalone bill that includes $2,000 checks per person, as the future of coronavirus relief hangs in the balance, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
On Thursday, December 24, Pelosi announced that she “will bring the House” back to session on Monday, December 28, for “a recorded vote on our standalone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000.”
The move comes after President Donald Trump demanded Congress replace the $600 checks featured in the new bipartisan bill with $2,000 checks. Republicans, however, blocked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s attempt to do so on Christmas Eve morning, Pelosi said.
“House and Senate Democrats have repeatedly fought for bigger checks for the American people, which House and Senate Republicans have repeatedly rejected — first, during our negotiations when they said that they would not go above $600 and now, with this act of callousness on the Floor,” Pelosi said in an online statement.
On Monday, December 21, both chambers approved a $900 billion stimulus package, including another round of the direct payments and a weekly $300 federal unemployment supplement for 11 weeks, Business Insider said.
However, Trump threatened the next day to veto the package, marking a stark shift in stance from his party. In a video posted to Twitter on December 22, Trump slammed parts of the deal as “wasteful spending” and criticized its “ridiculously low” stimulus checks.
Business Insider said a “partial government shutdown will begin on Tuesday unless Congress can agree [on] a stop-gap government funding bill before then.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Pelosi Slammed Republicans for ‘Cruelly’ Depriving the American People ‘on Christmas Eve’
In the December 24 statement, Pelosi slammed Republicans for preventing the American public from receiving aid.
“Today, on Christmas Eve morning, House Republicans cruelly deprived the American people of the $2,000 that the President agreed to support,” she said in the release.
“If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” Pelosi continued.
House Democrats earlier that morning scrambled to schedule a vote to increase the amount of stimulus checks included in the bipartisan proposal following Trump’s comments, according to NBC News. But Republicans quickly killed the bill, the outlet continued, “throwing into further doubt the future of any imminent financial relief for millions of struggling Americans.”
Pelosi Said She Hopes Trump Will Have Signed the Bipartisan Bill by Monday
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the original bipartisan legislation was sent on Christmas Eve to Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida to await his signature.
She said she hopes the president will have already signed the package by the time the House votes on the standalone measure on Monday.
“Hopefully by then the President will have already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep government open and to deliver coronavirus relief,” Pelosi said in the December 24 statement.
As of early Saturday, December 26, the president had not yet signed the bipartisan package — resulting in the loss of pandemic-related unemployment benefits for millions of Americans.
Business Insider said that, although Trump’s “strategy for the bill remains unclear, he has not vetoed it and could still sign it in the coming days.”
On Christmas Day, Trump again called for higher stimulus checks, tweeting:
“Why would politicians not want to give people $2,000, rather than only $600?…Give our people the money!”