The House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly passed a measure to increase direct stimulus payments to $2,000, up from the $600 originally signed into law by Donald Trump this past weekend.
The move by the Democratic-controlled House is good for the American people who are struggling to get by during the pandemic, but it’s bad news for the Republican Party.
As Washington Post reporter Libby Casey pointed out on MSNBC, Senate Republicans will now be forced to go on the record either supporting or opposing a $2,000 stimulus check for the American people.
“If you’re, for example, two Republicans running for Senate in Georgia with a vote in just a handful of days, you’re going to have to go on the record about this,” Casey said. “With friends like these, who needs enemies, because President Trump is putting Republicans in a very tough position.”
Depending on how GOP senators vote on the measure, it could put the Republican Senate majority in jeopardy.
House Democrats call Trump’s bluff on $2,000 stimulus checks, which puts Senate Republicans in a tough spot ahead of two Georgia runoff elections that will decide which party controls the Senate. pic.twitter.com/93LPeitxgQ
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) December 29, 2020
The House has passed it. So they had to get a two-thirds majority here. They have eked that through. So that is now through the House. The question is, what the Senate will do. This puts Senate Republicans in a tough spot because they now have to go on the record, either saying they support this $2,000 check or they don’t support the $2,000 check. And if you’re, for example, two Republicans running for Senate in Georgia with a vote in just a handful of days, you’re going to have to go on the record about this. And it just makes me think, Ari, with friends like these, who needs enemies, because President Trump is putting Republicans in a very tough position.
Trump threw the GOP Senate under the bus
Democrats have been pushing for higher relief payments since May when they passed the HEROES Act, but Trump threw the anti-stimulus GOP under the bus by unexpectedly endorsing $2,000 checks in recent days.
Now Republicans in the Senate – particularly David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler – are in a tough spot with just days to go until Georgia voters cast their ballots in a pair of runoff elections.
As PoliticusUSA’s Jason Easley noted earlier, “One week before election day in the Senate runoffs in Georgia, the message that will be sent to those voters is that Republicans in the Senate are denying aid that they desperately need during the pandemic.”
By throwing a tantrum over a COVID relief package that he spent months ignoring, Donald Trump shoved his party under the bus and may have just handed two Senate seats in Georgia to the Democrats.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.