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Mitt Romney not among GOP senators favoring $2,000 stimulus checks


A growing number of #Republican senators support $2,000 stimulus checks, but #Utah #Sen. #Mitt #Romney is not among them.

#Senate #Majority #Leader #Mitch #McConnell, R-Ky., blocked a #Democratic effort #Tuesday to unanimously approve the bill the #House passed #Monday to increase the amount of direct payments from $600 to $2,000. The lesser amount is part of a $900 billion relief package #Congress passed last week and #President #Donald #Trump signed #Sunday after days of delay.

#Trump held up the legislation while demanding that #Congress bump up the payments to $2,000.

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The president tweeted #Tuesday that unless #Republicans have a “death wish,” they will vote for the increased amount.

#Romney, who championed the stimulus checks back in #March, opposed the $600 direct payments that were eventually added to the bipartisan aid package approved last week. #Though he voted for the bill, the payments were not part of the original plan he helped negotiate with a group of eight #Republican and #Democratic senators.

#Earlier this month, the senator said stimulus checks were needed when the country was on the verge of a pandemic and people had drained their bank accounts on food and supplies. #At this stage, he said, much of the country is back to work and doesn’t need a check when they’re employed.

“The economy is showing good signs of life, so we’re not looking for a stimulus. #We’re looking to help people in need,” he said, listing the unemployed, small businesses and rural hospitals as those most in need.

The government would have to borrow another $464 billion to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000.

“Someone’s got to pay for that. #We can’t just have free money. There’s got to be taxation. #We have to pay interest on the debt,” #Romney said.

#Utah #Republican #Sen. #Mike #Lee, a staunch #Trump supporter, has not weighed in on increasing the direct payments. #He voted against the federal spending bill that included COVID-19 relief.

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“Nothing to share at this time,” #Lee spokesman #Conn #Carroll said #Tuesday.

The #House passed the #Caring for #Americans with #Supplemental #Help or CASH #Act to raise the payments #Monday, with 44 #Republicans joining the #Democratic majority. #Utah’s GOP #House members were not among them.

#Reps. #Chris #Stewart and #John #Curtis voted against the bill and outgoing #Rep. #Rob #Bishop did not vote. #Rep. #Ben #McAdams, the state’s lone #Democrat in #Congress, voted for it.

#Though #Trump said #Senate leadership has agreed to vote on the bill, #McConnell has not yet committed to bringing it to the floor.

#McConnell in a #Tuesday floor speech outlined three priorities #Trump said he wanted #Congress to address when he signed the coronavirus aid and federal spending bill #Sunday: larger direct payments, #Section 230 legal liability protections for internet platforms and to protect election ballots against fraud.

“This week, the #Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus,” #McConnell said without providing details.

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#Several #Republican senators the past few days, including #Marco #Rubio of #Florida, have voiced support for the bigger checks.

“I agree with the president that millions of working-class families are in dire need of additional relief, which is why I support $2,000 in direct payments to #Americans struggling due to the pandemic,” he said in a statement #Monday.

#Sen. #Josh #Hawley, R-Mo., and #Sen. #David #Perdue, R-Ga., who is locked in a tough #Senate runoff for reelection, also back the measure.

“Working #Americans have borne the brunt of this pandemic. They’ve been hammered, through no fault of their own. They deserve $2000 in #covid relief — a fraction of what the banks & big business got. #Let’s vote now,” #Hawley tweeted #Tuesday.

#Perdue tweeted, “President @realDonaldTrump is right — I support this push for $2,000 in direct relief for the #American people.”

#Sen. #Kelly #Loeffler, R-Ga., who like #Perdue is fighting to keep her seat, also backs the increased checks, as does #Trump ally #Sen. #Lindsey #Graham, R-S.C.

#With all 48 #Democrats likely to vote for the bill, it would need support from 12 of the #Senate’s 52 #Republicans to pass.





[ source link ]
https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/12/29/22204994/coronavirus-covid19-stimulus-check-donald-trump-mitt-romney-congress-senate-vote

##Mitt ##Romney #among #GOP #senators #favoring #stimulus #checks

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