Democrats pledge to hand over $ 2,000 checks with Senate scrutiny

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Democrats are pledging to move forward with $ 2,000 stimulus payments after their party won Senate control this week with wins in two rounds in Georgia where checks played a key role.
At a rally before election day, the president-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenCapitol Police officer dies in riots Representative Joaquin Castro wants to stop federal government naming buildings and property after Trump Tucker Carlson: Trump ‘recklessly encouraged’ rioters on Capitol Hill MORE said the election of the two Democratic candidates would overthrow the majority, end a GOP blockade on larger checks and allow more relief from the coronavirus in the form of direct payments.

Now Democrats say they plan to keep that pledge.

His. Charles SchumerChuck Schumer Tucker Carlson: Trump ‘recklessly encouraged’ Capitol rioters McConnell ousts Senate Sergeant-at-Arms after Capitol riots Capitol police chief announces his resignation after pro-Trump riots MORE (DN.Y.), who is set to become Majority Leader at Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, said Wednesday that “one of the first things I want to do when our new senators are seated is handing over the checks for $ 2,000 to American Families. “

Other Democratic lawmakers have pointed to the $ 2,000 payments following the victories planned for Jon OssoffJon Ossoff Celebrities Respond to Democrats’ Georgia Victory, Taking Control Of Senate Democrats Take Control Of Senate After Warnock, Ossoff Wins Ossoff Beats Lost In Second Round Of Senate In Georgia READ MORE and the Rev. Raphael WarnockRaphael Warnock Celebrities react to Democrats’ victory in Georgia, taking control of Senate Democrats take control of Senate after Warnock, Ossoff wins Ossoff beats Lost in second round of Senate in Georgia MORE in the elections in Georgia.

“As elected Senators Warnock and Ossoff have rightly pointed out, a Democratic Senate means families across the country will receive $ 2,000 survival checks,” said the chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalHouse Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump Hillary Clinton trolls McConnell: “Senate Minority Leader” John Lewis remembers after Warnock victory: “I wish he was here this evening »MORE (D-Wash.) Said in a statement.

Biden reiterated his desire on Wednesday to pass additional coronavirus relief legislation.

“We need urgent action on what’s to come, as the COVID-19 crisis is hitting red states as well as blue states,” he said in a statement.

In addition to Biden and Schumer, President Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCapitol Police Officer Dies in Riots Kellyanne Conway Condemns Violence, Supports Trump in Statement on Capitol Riot Warren Applauds DeVos After Announcing His Resignation: ‘Good Riddance’ MORE (D-Calif.) Supported the largest payments, which would follow the $ 600 payments from the latest COVID-19 relief bill.

The pledge on direct payments from the top three Democrats indicates that short-term action on the legislation will likely be a priority, said Todd Metcalf, director of PwC’s tax policy services group who was previously chief tax advisor to the Democrats in the Senate. Finance Committee.

“This trio, they’re definitely going to do something to keep that promise, and early in Biden’s tenure,” Metcalf said.

Warnock and Ossoff both argued for more direct payments to Americans in the weeks leading up to the second round. These calls intensified after President TrumpDonald Trump Capitol police officer dies in riots Donor who gave Hawley millions urges Senate to censor him for ‘irresponsible’ behavior Kellyanne Conway condemns violence, supports Trump in riot statement du Capitole PLUS last month called for increasing out-of-pocket payments under the recently adopted coronavirus relief program from $ 600 to $ 2,000.

Trump’s calls also prompted the two GOP candidates in the races to vote for larger payouts, breaking with many of their fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Much of this GOP opposition was exposed after the House passed a bill in late December to increase payments to $ 2,000 in a bipartisan vote. When the measure got to the Senate, Democrats’ efforts to pass the legislation were repeatedly blocked by Republican leaders.

Some GOP critics oppose the increase in payments over concerns about the growing federal deficit, while others have argued that the payments would not be targeted since some checks would go to people who don’t. have not lost their jobs or their income during the pandemic.

But Democrats argue that more direct aid to Americans is needed at a time when many are struggling to meet basic expenses.

According to a analysis published Thursday by the Left Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, people in the poorest 60% of income would see their income increase by 11 percent with payments of $ 2,000 floated in the House bill, compared to a 3 percent increase with just a payment of $ 600.

Trump on Wednesday criticized GOP leaders for opposing the increase in payments to $ 2,000.

“How does that play out politically?” Trump said at a rally that preceded riots at the Capitol. Trump added that he believes the resistance to the $ 2,000 checks was “one of the main reasons” the Republicans lost in Georgia.

It is not clear exactly when Democratic legislation to increase check amounts would be passed, but it is highly unlikely that it will pass until inauguration day.

At this early stage, there are other questions about the legislation.

An important question is whether the Democrats would propose increasing the recent payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000, or whether they would create a new round of payments of $ 2,000.

The bill passed by the House late last month, which is expected to be re-passed in the current Congress to move forward, would have increased payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000 and made dependent adults eligible for benefits. payments. The IRS has already issued most of the $ 600 payments, and progressives are likely to seek as much help from Americans as possible.

Another key question is whether Democrats will seek to vote on stand-alone legislation for direct payments, or whether checks would be part of a larger coronavirus relief program. Schumer this week declined to say which route the Democrats would take.

Once they gain control of Congress, Democrats will have the ability to legislate using the budget reconciliation process that would allow them to pass certain measures with a simple majority vote. Lawmakers tend to reserve reconciliation for larger sets of laws.

Outside of reconciliation, legislation needs 60 votes to clear the Senate, and Democrats will have 50 seats once Warnock and Ossoff are sworn in. While several GOP senators have spoken out in favor of increasing direct payments, it is unclear whether a stand-alone bill would erase the 60-vote threshold.

Democrats will also need to decide whether they want to make any changes to the payment eligibility requirements.

Russ Sullivan, a former chief of staff for Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee who now chairs the national tax policy group at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, said some Democratic lawmakers might not want the cost of a vast coronavirus relief program is supported. by checks. The bill passed by the House in December was valued at around $ 464 billion.

“There will be Democrats who don’t want the additional controls to crowd out other COVID recovery provisions,” Sullivan said. “The most logical way to reduce costs would be to reduce the elimination points of qualifying income.”



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