Over the weekend, President Donald Trump finally signed COVID-19 relief legislation that both chambers of Congress had approved. Among a slew of other financial support provisions, the legislation included a plan for $600 direct payments to Americans, with additional money for every dependent child claimed on 2019 tax returns. Trump clamored for an increase in direct payment amounts to $2,000 per person — after Congress passed the bill and while Americans waited for the relief that the legislation contained. After Trump signed the bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a public statement in which she called on the president to put in the work to secure additional support.
Pelosi characterized the relief legislation as “a down payment on what is needed to crush the virus, put money in the pockets of the American people and honor our heroes.” In other words, top Democrats appear to envision another relief package in the near future, and Democratic victories in the two ongoing Senate races in Georgia could help ensure that this prospective relief package emerges. Democratic control of the Senate, which two Democratic Georgia victories would enact, would likely help clear the way for additional meaningful relief.
Americans don’t need Trump’s bluster — they need support. Pelosi added as follows:
‘Now, 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 [on Monday]. 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.’
The legislation signed tonight is a down payment on what is needed to crush the virus, put money in Americans’ pockets & honor our heroes. We must quickly take further action to help Americans struggling to stay afloat during this historic pandemic & economic crisis.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 28, 2020
House Democrats already attempted to pass an increase in the amount of the direct payments, which are only available to some income levels to begin with, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blocked the proposal. The House was attempting to pass the additional relief via unanimous consent, meaning that any one member was able to object and thereby derail the move. The standalone legislation to increase relief payments to $2,000 seemed slated to pass the House on Monday thanks to the chamber’s Democratic majority, leaving Republicans in the Senate as the potential single, solitary block to the relief reaching the American people.