DECEMBER 24, 2020
House Republicans blocked Democrats’ attempt to meet President Donald Trump’s demand to pay most Americans $2,000 to help weather the coronavirus pandemic.
Republicans objected to the bill House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sought to pass by unanimous consent Thursday to replace the $600 payments in the latest pandemic relief legislation with the $2,000 payments.
“House and Senate Democrats have repeatedly fought for bigger checks for the American people, which House and Senate Republicans have repeatedly rejected – first, during our negotiations when they said that they would not go above $600 and now, with this act of callousness on the Floor,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Thursday.
Democrats will try again with a roll call vote on a new bill Dec. 28, when the House also plans a vote to override Trump’s veto on the National Defense Authorization Act. Since current government spending runs out that day — and funds for the rest of the fiscal year are included in the virus relief bill Trump criticized and hasn’t signed — the House could also pass another stopgap measure to avert a partial government shutdown.
Republicans on Thursday tried to seek unanimous consent on a measure to examine taxpayer money spent on foreign aid, but Democrats blocked that move. In his complaint Tuesday about Congress’s combined virus aid and government spending bill, Trump criticized federal resources spent on international programs, even though that spending was allocated as part of the bipartisan appropriations process.
(Updates with Pelosi quote in the second paragraph and Republican bill blocked in the fourth paragraph.)