The House passed legislation on Monday to send most Americans a $2,000 stimulus check, in an attempt to replace the $600 checks approved in the most recent coronavirus relief bill.
The bill passed by a vote of 275-134, barely passing the two-thirds of House lawmakers needed to retroactively raise the value of the stimulus checks.
President Trump signed the latest relief bill on Sunday evening, after he termed the bill a “disgrace” and called for the $2,000 checks last week. A number of Democrats subsequently backed a proposal by “squad” members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) to disburse the $2,000 checks.
“Glad to see the President is willing to support our legislation,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter at the time. “We can pass $2k checks this week if the Senate GOP agrees to stand down.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) gave her support to the initiative.
“The president of the United States has put this forth as something that he wants to see and part of his signing the legislation yesterday,” Pelosi commented on Monday. “I hope that view will be shared by the Republicans in the Senate, because we will pass this bill today.
While the new legislation is unlikely to pass the Senate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) wrote on Twitter that he will attempt to force a vote on the bill. The GOP caucus has been wary of putting a high price tag on the latest coronavirus relief effort, with Senate Republicans seeking to keep the bill below a $1 trillion price tag.
Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) introduced a bill earlier this month to provide $1,200 checks to most Americans. The bill was blocked by Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), who cited deficit concerns.
“We will not have learned the lessons from our very hurried, very rushed, very massive, earlier relief packages,” Johnson said on the Senate floor on December 18. “We’re just going to do more of the same, another trillion dollars. It takes our debt from $27.4 trillion to $28.4 trillion in a couple months.”