Senators have promised to create a new coronavirus relief package — including another stimulus payment to many people — one of their top goals when they takeover the chamber.
“Emergency relief is not over, far from it” Chuck Schumer said to lawmakers on Tuesday. “Democrats wanted more in the previous bill. We want to increase payments to a sum of $2,000 — we’ll get that done.”
The DNC now has control of the Senate by the smallest of margins after two wins by Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia last week. Putting them at an even 50-50 split with Republicans, with VP-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
The last public arguments in the Georgia races centered around the possibility of $2,000 stimulus checks being sent to Americans dealing with the Covid pandemic. It was and still is a popular issue of both Democrats and President Trump.
“If you send these two to D.C., those $2,000 checks will happen,” Biden told voters about the Georgia elections. “But if you send Loeffler and Perdue, those checks won’t go out. It’s that easy. The power is truly yours.”
Washington has already sent most Americans two direct payments: The first was up to $1,200 for individuals and the second was up to $600 for individuals, which was delivered this month.
On top of raising the payments by $1,400 to make good on the figure of $2,000, the new stimulus would give money for small businesses, vaccine distribution, schools, and state and local governments, Schumer added.
“We will instantly get to work on delivering that goal,” Schumer said. “As our first goal of legislation, we are preparing to discuses more COVID relief.”
But it’s uncertain if Democrats really mean what they say. For example, it’s unknown if they have enough votes to pass any relief bill: This Friday, Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, said he would “absolutely not” vote to send a $2,000 stimulus check, which puts a cloud of skepticism over the entire thing.
“No, absolutely not. ” Manchin said to The Washington Post this Friday, when asked if he would agree to new stimulus checks. “Our first job is getting people vaccinated.”
“How will that money help us get jobs back or find people a new job to replace the one they lost?” he went on. “Sending another check won’t do that for a person that’s already had a check.”