- The Washington Times - Monday, December 28, 2020

The House is expected to vote Monday night on President Trump’s demand to increase stimulus checks to Americans from $600 to $2,000, setting up a pivotal decision by Senate Republicans on the aid later this week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for the bill to be voted on quickly, after the president on Sunday night signed into law a $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government funding package.

The vote will force House Republicans, many of whom voted against the original relief package and its $600 payments, to go on record on whether they support Mr. Trump’s renewed call for larger stimulus checks.

“I have told Congress that I want 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,” the president said Sunday night. “I will never give up my fight for the American people!”

He called the current $600 payments “measly.”

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said the president should urge GOP lawmakers “to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000.”

“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,” she said.

The bill is being brought up on a “suspension” procedure, meaning it would need a two-thirds vote of lawmakers who are present to pass.

Then it would need to be cleared by the Republican-controlled Senate, which has previously rejected a move to increase the stimulus checks to $1,200. Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, said he would be “surprised” if the Senate took up the measure.

Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, said Sunday that many Republicans don’t like the payments because the aid isn’t targeted to people who need it most.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York predicted the House will pass the bill, and he said he’ll bring it up in the Senate.

“No Democrats will object,” Mr. Schumer tweeted. “Will Senate Republicans?”

All 100 senators would need to agree to hold an expedited vote on the bill as early as Tuesday. Otherwise, the earliest the Senate could vote on the question would be on New Year’s Eve.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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