With a new Congress set to convene in the coming days, it appears that the stalemate over enhanced COVID stimulus checks will soon be broken.
Early on in the pandemic, the federal government stepped up to provide Americans with boosted unemployment benefits, a $1,200 direct payment, and a number of other economic boosts meant to help us weather the storm. In the 7+ months since that time, a rigorous and contentious debate roiled among our lawmakers over when, or if, there should be more stimulus added to the faltering economy.
In a last-ditch effort for significant assistance, President Trump, a vast majority of Democrats, and a great many Republicans pushed for $2,000 direct payments to be included in a second stimulus bill. That effort failed, with much of the blame being heaped on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Now that the Senate will be helmed by a Democratic majority in 2021, House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is promising to get that money into the pockets of the American people as quickly as possible.
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Senate Democrats plan to make another coronavirus relief package — including sending an additional stimulus payment to many Americans — one of their top priorities for the year once they assume control of the chamber.
“The job of COVID emergency relief is far from complete,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday. “Democrats wanted to do much more in the last bill and promised to do more, if given the opportunity, to increase direct payments to a total of $2,000 — we will get that done.”
The Democrats used this potential payment as a carrot on a stick in the Georgia Senate runoff races, which culminated in the election of two Democratic Senators on January 5th.
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