The Democratic-led US House of Representatives on Monday voted 275-134 to meet President Donald Trump’s demand for a $ 2,000 COVID-19 relief probe, sending measures for an uncertain future to the Republican-controlled Senate.
Republican Trump last week threatened to block a massive pandemic aid and spending package if Congress did not boost stimulus payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000 and cut other spending. He withdrew his demands on Sunday as there was a possible government shutdown loom, brought on by a fight with MPs.
But Democratic lawmakers had long called for a $ 2,000 relief probe and used the rare point of agreement with Trump to pursue the proposal – or at least put Republicans on record against it – on Monday’s vote. In, a month before leaving office.
A total of 130 Republicans, two independents and two Democrats opposed the increase on Monday, requiring two-thirds of those in attendance and voting to pass it.
Trump, who lost the November election to Democratic challenger Joe Biden but refused to give up, eventually signed a $ 2.3 million trillion package, after which it faced a veto veto threat. But he kept demanding a check for $ 2,000.
The $ 2.3 trillion includes $ 1.4 trillion to fund government agencies, and $ 892 billion in COVID-19 relief.
It is unclear how the measure to raise aid checks will fare in the Senate, where individual Republican lawmakers have complained that the higher amount would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the latest relief bill.
According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, raising the check would cost $ 464 billion, which prepares a cost estimate for the legislation before Congress.
The Senate is due to call on Tuesday. Senate chief leader Mitch McConnell made no mention of the Senate’s plans after welcoming the signing of Trump’s relief bill on Sunday.
The coronavirus epidemic has killed approximately 330,000 people in the United States and led to widespread economic hardship, leaving millions of families dependent on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 relief money.
Global markets swirled after Trump approved the package.
Wall Street’s main indices reached record highs on Monday as Trump signed the aid bill, betting on an economic recovery and making gains in financial and energy stocks.
On Monday, House lawmakers also wanted to end Trump’s recent $ 740 billion bill setting policy for the Department of Defense. If it was successful, it would be the first veto override of Trump’s presidency.
When asked at the end of an incident in Willington, Delaware, whether he supported extending the payment to $ 2,000, Biden replied: “Yes.”
Georgia Republicans Kyle Loeffler and David Perdue, who face significant Senate runoff next month to determine who controls the chamber, welcomed Trump’s move, without saying whether the payment should be increased .
As the floor was debated, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “Republicans have a choice, vote for this law, or vote to deny the big pay to the American people for what they need.”
And Democratic US Representative Dan Kilde said: “We (Trump) would have included very large payments in the law. But it’s never too late to do the right thing.”
But Republican Rep. Kevin Brady said the bill does nothing to help get people back to work. “I worry that as we spend another half a trillion dollars in such a hurry, that we are not targeting this help to the Americans who are struggling the most and need that help,” he said .
The US Treasury Department said it anticipates sending the first wave of $ 600 incentive checks to American individuals and families earlier this week, as previously planned, a senior Treasury official said on Monday.