Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both facing runoff elections for their seats in Georgia next month, came out Tuesday in support of President Donald Trump’s efforts to raise coronavirus relief checks from $600 to $2,000.
Loeffler and Perdue’s seats are among particular importance since their potential runoff wins against Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff could maintain the Senate majority for the Republicans.
Though Trump signed a bipartisan package on Sunday night that included $600 relief checks, the president’s calls for more substantial relief promoted a bill that passed the House Monday night with two-thirds majority, including 44 Republicans, Mass Live reported.
“$2000 for our great people, not $600!” Trump demanded Tuesday. “They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!”
$2000 for our great people, not $600! They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2020
“I agree with [Donald Trump] — we need to deliver $2,000 direct relief checks to the American people,” Loeffler posted to Twitter, two hours after Trump’s tweet about the relief checks.
I agree with @realDonaldTrump — we need to deliver $2,000 direct relief checks to the American people.
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) December 29, 2020
“President [Donald Trump] is right — I support this push for $2,000 in direct relief for the American people,” Perdue similarly posted.
— David Perdue (@Perduesenate) December 29, 2020
“In order for the $2,000 check measure to pass in the Senate, at least 12 Republicans would need to join all 48 members of the Democratic Caucus,” Mass Lives noted, adding that Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, and Josh Hawley have, too, come out in support of $2,000 relief checks.
Last week, Trump slammed Congress over a coronavirus stimulus bill for its emphasis on foreign assistance and lack of direct aid to Americans.
“Throughout the summer, Democrats cruelly blocked COVID relief legislation in an effort to advance their extreme left-wing agenda and influence the election,” Trump said in an address last Tuesday, as reported by The Daily Wire. “Then, a few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people. It’s taken forever. However, the bill they are planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated.”
“For example, among the more than 5,000 pages in this bill, which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity,” he said. “It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
“This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia; $134 million to Burma; $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian Military which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian Military equipment; $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan; $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama; $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., which is not even open for business; $1 billion for the Smithsonian; and an additional $154 million for the National Gallery of Art; $7 million for reef fish management; $25 million to combat Asian carp; $2.5 million to count the number of Amber Jack fish in the Gulf of Mexico, a provision to promote the breeding of fish in federal hatcheries; $3 million in poultry production technology; $2 million to research the impact of downed trees; $566 million for construction projects at the FBI,” Trump blasted. “The bill also allows stimulus checks for the family members of illegal aliens, allowing them to get up to $1,800 each. This is far more than the Americans are given.”
“Despite all of this wasteful spending and much more, the $900 billion package provides hard-working taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments and not enough money is given to small businesses and in particular restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously,” the president continued. “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault, it was China’s fault, not their fault.”
“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump asserted. “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package.”