Pelosi: Trump Must Press GOP to Back $2,000 Checks in Covid-19 Stimulus Relief

Date: 2020-12-23 18:31:09

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged swift action on new legislation boosting stimulus payments for individuals to $2,000, urging Republicans to join Democrats in meeting a last-minute demand from President Donald Trump that threw a historic pandemic relief package into doubt.

Pelosi highlighted in a letter to colleagues Wednesday that Republican leader Kevin McCarthy’s approval will be needed to proceed with a unanimous consent request to increase payments to $2,000, from the $600 that was part of the pandemic relief package Congress passed late Monday. Trump on Tuesday said the smaller amount wasn’t enough, and he cast doubt over whether he’d sign the $2.3 trillion spending bill.

“If the president truly wants to join us in $2,000 payments, he should call upon Leader McCarthy to agree to our unanimous consent request,” Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats.

The speaker also said that Trump should sign the legislation passed Monday night, which provides $900 billion in pandemic relief and $1.4 trillion in regular federal funding through the end of the fiscal year. Trump would need to sign it by Dec. 28 to avert a lapse in government funding after midnight that day.

“The entire country knows that it is urgent for the president to sign this bill, both to provide the coronavirus relief and to keep government open,” Pelosi said in her letter.

The speaker plans to convene the House in a pro-forma session at 9 a.m. Thursday. There’s been no word from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — whose GOP conference had consistently demanded a smaller relief package before signing on to the $900 billion effort on Monday — on whether his chamber will move on the proposal.

A spokesperson for McConnell didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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