Republicans Block Democrats Effort to Approve $2,000 Stimulus Checks

A view of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

House Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill by Democrats to provide direct checks of $2,000 to individuals on Thursday, after President Trump called on Congress to amend a newly passed coronavirus relief bill to increase direct payments to $2,000, with $4,000 for a couple. House Republicans blocked the proposal, which Democrats tried to pass by unanimous consent, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there will be a full House vote on the measure next week.

“Today, on Christmas Eve morning, House Republicans cruelly deprived the American people of the $2,000 that the President agreed to support. If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” Pelosi said in a statement Thursday morning. “On Monday, I will bring the House back to session where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000.”

Mr. Trump traveled to his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida on Wednesday evening, where he is expected to remain through the Christmas holiday. Pelosi said that she hoped Mr. Trump would sign the current relief bill passed by Congress this week to avert a government shutdown and provide badly needed support to suffering Americans.

The stimulus bill was flown to Florida on Thursday should the President decide to sign it, a person familiar confirmed to CBS News.

Democratic Congressman Richard Neal, the House Ways and Means Committee chair, introduced the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act on Thursday, increasing the direct payments to $2,000. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer attempted to bring the bill to the floor by unanimous consent, but it was blocked due to opposition from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Only one Republican, Congressman Rob Whittman, needed to be present on the House floor to block the bill.

Mr. Trump had indicated in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday that he would not sign the $900 billion relief package passed by both houses of Congress on Monday. The package provides $600 in direct payments for adults making up to $75,000 per year and children, with $2,400 for a family of four.

The president’s demand came after weeks of negotiations, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin playing an active part in determining the final numbers before the relief bill and an omnibus spending package passed with overwhelming majorities. By holding a voice vote on Thursday, Democrats will attempt to call Mr. Trump’s bluff and force Republicans to go on the record for their opposition to increasing direct payments from $600 to $2,000.

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SOURCE: CBS News, Grace Segers