Trump pushes for $600 stimulus checks

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Before the November elections, a second round of financial aid checks for American taxpayers was one of the few things Republican and Democratic lawmakers agreed should be included in another fiscal stimulus package.

But in the proposed $908 billion bipartisan package lawmakers are racing to pass before Christmas a second round of $1,200 payments is not included.

That among other reasons is why Sen. Bernie Sanders and five of his colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus won’t back the bipartisan package.

But President Donald Trump is pushing Republican lawmakers to include $600 direct relief checks to Americans in a forthcoming stimulus package, the Washington Post reported Tuesday citing two people in direct communication with him.

Six Democratic lawmakers signaled that they wouldn’t be willing to budge on anything less than $1,200 plus an additional $500 per child.

“Given the horrific extent of the current crisis and the desperation that working families all over this country are experiencing, this proposal does not go anywhere near far enough,” Sanders, a Vermont independent, wrote in a letter obtained by Politico circulated to Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday.

“The American people need help and they need help now. We agree with President-elect Biden that a $1,200 direct payment should be included in this proposal,” states the letter signed by Sanders and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

“Please join us in demanding that any new COVID-relief proposal includes a $1,200 direct payment to adults and $500 to their children.”

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley has urged President Donald Trump to veto a stimulus package if it doesn’t contain a second round of stimulus checks.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both backed the $908 billion bipartisan proposal even though stimulus checks aren’t included in it.

Pelosi told reporters on Tuesday that she supports a second round of stimulus checks and would make a more fervent push for once the lame duck period for the current Congress ends in January, Reuters reported.