President Donald Trump has pushed back at a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that includes individual $600 payments to Americans.
In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she will hold a vote in which each member will state on the record whether he or she is in favor of Trump’s call to increase those payments to $2,000, Fox News reports.
“The relief they need”
Pelosi’s remarks on the subject came in the form of a statement released on Thursday.
“On Monday, I will bring the House back to session, where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000,” she said, according to Fox.
The speaker went on to assert that a vote against the bill “is to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny them the relief they need.”
Earlier in the week, Congress passed a bill with a $1.4 trillion price tag that included direct stimulus payments of either $600 per individual or $1,200 for couples — plus an additional $600 per dependent. Critics complained that the bill also sent large amounts of taxpayer money to foreign nations.
“It’s taken forever”
Although the bill had support from both sides of the aisle, it also faced a significant amount of bipartisan opposition. The president came out against the package with a threat to veto the bill, The Washington Times reported. He also posted a video slamming both the small amount of the direct payments as well as the redirection of U.S. dollars overseas.
“A few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people,” Trump said. “It’s taken forever.”
Nevertheless, he said that the bill set to arrive on his desk “is much different than anticipated,” lambasting the proposal as “a disgrace.”
Trump wants more
The president is calling for the $600 and $1,200 figures to be raised to $2,000 and $4,000, respectively. He also wants Congress “to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation.”
While Democrats seized upon the admonition as an ostensible area of agreement with the president, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is accusing Pelosi of suffering from “selective hearing” on the issue.
McCarthy wrote a letter claiming that Democrats “have conveniently ignored the concerns expressed by the president, and shared by our constituents, that we ought to reexamine how our tax dollars are spent overseas while so many of our neighbors at home are struggling to make ends meet.”