A growing number of Democrats seem to be willing to increase the amount of COVID-19 relief for struggling Americans. This after President Trump delivered a brief White House address that expressed his disappointment and dismay in the recent stimulus bill that cleared both houses of Congress and offered every citizen a $600 paycheck. In the address, President Trump urged that lawmakers amend the stimulus bill and greatly increase their initial proposal of $600 per person to $2,000 per person or $4,000 per couple. “Among the more than 5,000 pages in this bill, which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity,” President Trump stated in the video, “its called the covid relief bill, but has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
Meanwhile, in the ongoing U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia, the two Democratic candidates running for office, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, have been pushing the issue hard against their Republican contenders, Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The national COVID-19 relief bill has morphed into a major state issue that is impacting the narrative that Democratic candidates are promoting as they seek to win the runoff election and gain control of Georgia, and in turn, gain a Democrat majority in the US Senate. Loeffler and Perdue voted alongside other Republican Senators in passing the bipartisan stimulus bill through Congress. Despite this, following President Trump’s criticism of the bill, Loeffler expressed interest in considering direct payments of $2,000 in stimulus checks to Americans. “I’ll certainly look at supporting it if it repurposes wasteful spending toward that,” Loeffler said during a campaign event in Georgia.
Both Ossoff and Warnock have joined a growing number of Democrats in taking President Trump’s side against the proposed $600 stimulus checks. “As I’ve said from the start, the Senate should have acted on this months ago and support for Georgians should have been far greater. Donald Trump is right, Congress should swiftly increase direct payments to $2,000,” Warnock said in a statement. Warnock also used the issue as a political weapon to criticize Loeffler for not doing enough in her capacity to ensure that the citizens of Georgia are provided with adequate COVID-19 relief funding. Loeffler, on the other hand, has criticized Democrats for holding up the relief bill for months due to political reasons and as consequence, has caused many small businesses to suffer.
Jon Ossoff has taken to Twitter to harshly criticize David Perdue’s vote of approval for the COVID stimulus bill. He accused Perdue of preventing direct relief to Americans over the past 8 months. Ossoff also called the $600 check idea “a joke” and pushed Congress to work toward providing Americans with a much larger check. Both Ossoff and Warnock have criticized Loeffler and Perdue for not supporting the first round of $1,200 checks.
Other Republicans have also voiced their support for President Trump’s $2,000 stimulus check proposal. Senator Lindsey Graham took to Twitter on Wednesday to voice his support, believing that the many suffering Americans deserve larger direct payments of $2,000.