On Monday, the House of Representatives passed a measure to increase stimulus checks for Americans under a certain income level to $2,000.
The legislation passed with a 275-134 vote, a day after Trump signed a coronavirus relief bill into law Sunday evening.
That measure, which was negotiated on a bipartisan basis, provides for $600 in direct payments. However, after a deal was brokered and passed out of Congress, Trump railed against the amount as too low and called for $2,000 checks instead, resulting in House Democrats to push for an increase.
When and if the Senate will consider the measure is still not clear.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York announced Monday that he planned to try and quickly pass the measure in the GOP-led chamber by requesting a unanimous consent agreement, which can be blocked by any senators who contradicts it.
“Following the strong bipartisan vote in the House, tomorrow I will move to pass the legislation in the Senate to quickly deliver Americans with $2,000 emergency checks,” Schumer said. “Every Senate Democrat is for this much-needed increase in emergency financial relief, which can be approved tomorrow if no Republican blocks it — there is no good reason for Senate Republicans to stand in the way.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, has threatened to delay a crucial vote to override Trump’s veto on a defense funding bill unless the Senate holds a vote on $2,000 checks.
“This week on the Senate floor Mitch McConnell wants to vote to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense funding bill and then head home for the New Year. I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class,” Sanders tweeted.
House Republicans blocked an effort by Democrats to advance $2,000 stimulus checks last week, but the House tried again on Monday with a floor vote that required a two-thirds majority to pass since it is taking place under a suspension of the rules.
“The President must immediately call on congressional Republicans 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, which will be brought to the Floor tomorrow,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
“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.”
Trump’s last-minute objections to the stimulus legislation initially threw into question whether he would sign it at all. When the President finally did sign the legislation on Sunday evening, he said in a statement that he signed the coronavirus relief bill only after securing a commitment for the Senate to consider legislation to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.
The eligibility for the checks is determined by a person’s most recent tax returns. Anyone who made under $75,000 as an individual or $150,000 as a couple would receive the full amount.
The amount individuals receive decreases by $5 for every $100 a person makes over $75,000. This means that individuals who make over $99,000 or couples making more than $198,000 are not eligible.