(CNN) — The House of Representatives failed to move forward Thursday with a measure that would increase direct payments to Americans below a certain income level to $ 2,000. This is above the $ 600 level approved earlier this week, bringing lawmakers back to baseline as they seek a way to appease the President Donald Trump’s demands.
House Democrats tried to quickly pass the bill through a unanimous request for consent Thursday morning. However, Republicans rejected the measure, leaving in doubt the future of the stimulus package of US $ 900,000 million, and if changes will be added. That stimulus package was attached to a federal-wide spending bill, and the deadline for government funding is Monday at midnight.
Democrats promised that their effort is not over. They promised to move forward to pass a bill to increase stimulus checks to $ 2,000 with a vote for or against in the full House on December 28.
“On Monday, I will bring the House back to session where we will take a recorded vote on our independent bill to increase the economic impact payments to $ 2,000. To vote against this bill is to deny the financial hardships families face and deny them the relief they need, ”Pelosi said in a statement.
“Hopefully by then the president has already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep the government open and provide relief from the coronavirus,” he said.
Congress continues to discuss coronavirus subsidy plan
Earlier this week, Congress passed the massive covid relief bill, which included payments of up to $ 600 to all Americans who earn below certain income levels. Single people earning up to $ 75,000 would receive the full direct payment of $ 600 and couples earning up to $ 150,000 would receive $ 1,200.
Passing the bailout package through both houses was a huge undertaking and represented a bipartisan breakthrough after months of partisan stalemate and contentious disagreements.
One of the main sticking points that had to be overcome was disagreement over how much the package should cost, with many Republicans cautioning that they could not accept too high a price.
After a deal was finally reached, the president was expected to endorse the package and the White House had indicated that Trump would sign the legislation once it reached his desk.
But on Tuesday, Trump challenged all of that when he said he would not sign the bill if Congress does not amend the legislation and raises the “ridiculously low” $ 600 stimulus checks to $ 2,000 for individuals or $ 4,000 per couple. .
Democrats have seized on the president’s message in an attempt to pressure Republicans to accept a larger amount for stimulus checks, and Republican lawmakers now find themselves in a tight spot where they will be forced to decide whether to challenge or not the president.
“If the president is serious about direct payments of $ 2,000, he must ask House Republicans to end his obstruction,” Pelosi said.
Republicans’ bet on subsidy checks
Republicans countered the Democratic effort today with a proposal to eliminate a portion of the spending package that included foreign aid, an area that Trump targeted after Congress passed the bill. However, those provisions were largely in line with Trump’s own budget request and were supported by the vast majority of Republicans. That effort was rebuffed by Democrats.
At a press conference following the House adjournment to Dec. 28, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Pelosi and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin are still involved in ongoing discussions about the help for covid, despite the fact that Mnuchin helped negotiate the same deal as Trump surprisingly, and publicly, was called into question earlier this week.
Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of the Republican leadership, says Republicans really don’t know what Trump will do next, but they are hopeful he won’t veto the stimulus funding bill.
“I have no idea what he’s planning to do,” Blunt said.
“We were assured that the president would sign the bill,” he told reporters after a short pro forma session. “I have no reason to believe that Secretary Mnuchin did not believe that.” Mnuchin served as lead negotiator on behalf of the administration.
– CNN’s Jazmin Goodwin contributed to this report.
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