(TheLibertyRevolution)- It seems that one of the first things Democrat Chuck Schumer will do as the new Senate Majority Leader is push forward a priority of President Donald Trump.
Schumer, who is set to lead the Senate after the power shifts from Republicans to Democrats on Inauguration Day on January 20, told members in his party earlier this week that increasing direct stimulus checks to $2,000 would be one of the first orders of business for the new Senate. That is exactly what Trump was pushing for when he first delayed, but eventually signed, the $900 billion coronavirus relief package.
In a letter sent to his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, Schumer outlined his goals for the upper chamber. Once Georgia Senators Joe Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are sworn into their new positions following the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Schumer will become Majority Leader.
In his letter, Schumer wrote:
“The job of COVID emergency relief is far from complete. Democrats wanted to do much more in the last bill and promised to do more, if given the opportunity, to increase direct payments to $2,000 — we will get that done.”
In December, Congress passed a $900 billion economic relief package that included $600 direct payments to Americans who earn under a certain amount. Families also received $600 per dependent child under the age of 17.
During debate on that bill, House Democrats were pushing for $2,000 direct payments. That ended up getting negotiated down to $600 per individual when the House and Senate met to narrow the gap of their differences.
When the bill was sent to Trump’s desk to be signed, the president expressed his displeasure with the package. He said the $600 payments were not enough, and urged Congress to change those payments. The House immediately passed a bill to increase the payments to $2,000, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wouldn’t be bringing the bill to the upper chamber’s floor. Trump, then, eventually signed the bill as is.
Now, as Democrats are set to take control of the Senate and the White House, they apparently will push forward with increasing the stimulus payment amount. Those who have already received their $600 payments would receive an additional $1,400. Those who haven’t received the $600 payment would just receive the $2,000 in one lump sum.
As Schumer wrote to other Democrats:
“We will immediately set to work to deliver on that goal. As our first order of legislative business, please prepare to address additional COVID emergency relief legislation.”
Biden has expressed his desire for the increased payments, as has Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The challenge will be whether they can get bipartisan support to get the bills passed through the House and Senate without Republicans using a filibuster. Even though the Democrats technically have control of the Senate, they’d still need to get 10 Republicans to agree so they can reach the minimum 60 votes needed to pass a filibuster-proof bill.