Key Democrats came out in support of President Donald Trump’s last-minute demand that $2,000 in direct payments to Americans be included in the coronavirus stimulus bill. Trump declared in a video posted Tuesday that he would not sign the recently passed bill in its current form, instead demanding the extra payments along with the elimination of several items he considered “wasteful.”
Responding to Trump’s video Tuesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supported the idea while also pointing out that the president never called for a specific payment amount during months of negotiations.
“Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks,” Pelosi tweeted. “At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!”
“That’s great!” Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders responded, including Pelosi’s tweet. “I first introduced a bill to provide a $2,000 direct payment with @SenKamalaHarris & @EdMarkey 7 months ago. Now, Mr. President, get Mitch McConnell and your Republican friends to stop opposing it and we can provide working class Americans with $2,000. Let’s do it.”
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote that an amendment to include the payments is “ready to go.”
To which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded, “I’m in!”
Schumer had initially seemed to support passing the bill as-is, but appeared to change his mind.
Other “Squad” members publicly echoed their support for the idea. (RELATED: CNN’s Michael Smerconish Calls Trump’s Push For $2,000 Stimulus Checks ‘The Most Effective Thing He’s Done’ Since The Election)
After months of negotiations, Congress on Monday passed the sweeping $2.3 trillion package that includes $900 billion in coronavirus stimulus as well as $1.4 trillion to fund the government through October. If he changes his mind, Trump has until December 28 to sign the bill.