As his presidency nears its end, Donald Trump is once again asking Congress to include another round of coronavirus stimulus checks in the next relief package.
“Right now, I want to see checks — for more money than they’re talking about — going to people,” Trump said in a Fox News interview that aired Sunday.
Members of Congress are engaged in talks about a $908 billion bipartisan relief package that does not include any money for additional stimulus checks.
It’s unclear whether Congress will pass this package before the Biden administration takes over on January 20.
President Donald Trump is spending his final weeks in office urging Congress to include another round of coronavirus stimulus checks in the next relief package.
Speaking to Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade, Trump said he wants stimulus checks to be approved for “more money” than the options currently on the table.
“I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal,” Trump said in the interview, which aired Sunday morning.
“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people,” he added.
After months of stalemate and inconclusive discussions, Congress has once again resumed relief talks, this time turning to a $908 billion bipartisan package that does not include any money for stimulus checks.
In October, the Democratic-led House passed a $2.2 trillion package. But Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell struck it down and proposed a $500 billion bill as an alternative option. Then discussions reached another stalemate, as Democrats disagreed with the severe downsize in the amount of money allocated and Republicans refused to budge higher.
The last time Congress passed a stimulus was in May, which gave millions of Americans $1,200 each to offset the financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic. Since then, various signs, such as a dip in grocery spending, have suggested that Americans are hurting for cash.
With President-elect Joe Biden scheduled to take office on January 20, it’s unclear whether Congress will even negotiate the $908 billion measure in time for the bill to make it to Trump.
The proposal was intended to be a compromise between the two parties. But Republican lawmakers, including McConnell, are signaling that they are opposed to the package.
The Republican Senate leader said Trump would not want to sign off on the current package as it stands.
“At the risk of repeating something we all know, making law will require not just the Senate’s approval, but also the signature of the President of the United States,” McConnell said in a statement earlier this month.
He said his own plan – which is a slimmed-down version of the $908 billion proposal – would go through.
As Business Insider’s Mia Jankowicz reported, neither the $908 billion package nor McConnell’s proposal includes additional money for another round of stimulus checks.
The White House has been pushing for a second round of checks for weeks.
Two senators are echoing the president’s pleas to Congress. Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders and Republican Sen. John Hawley have teamed up to urge Congress to allocate enough money in the next stimulus bill to cut every American who earns up to $75,000 a $1,200 check.
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