News Loeffler, Perdue join growing number of Senate Republicans backing $2,000 direct payments

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December 29, 2020

Two more Senate Republicans on Tuesday expressed support for delivering $2,000 stimulus checks to most Americans, adding to the pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to hold a vote on a proposal that most other members of his party had opposed before President Trump intervened.

The latest calls came from Georgia’s two embattled Republican senators — Sen. David Perdue (R) and Kelly Loeffler — as they find themselves in the midst of a tough re-election battle that will decide the fate of the chamber next week. Both said they supported the $2,000 checks that Trump has sought to advance in recent days. They joined Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who expressed support for the idea on Monday. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is one of the chief proponents of the idea.

“Absolutely, we need to get relief to Americans now, and I will support that,” Loeffler said on Fox News. Perdue, meanwhile, tweeted hours later he backs “this push for $2,000 in direct relief for the American people.”

The House on Monday passed the plussed-up stimulus checs with a broad bipartisan vote. That bill, called the CASH Act, would boost the $600 payments authorized in the massive year-end spending-and-relief package that Trump signed Sunday. The CASH Act would effectively increase the $600 stimulus checks by another $1,400.

Trump and a number of lawmakers have called for the larger stimulus payments amid signs that the economy has worsened in recent months. Under pressure from Trump, Democratic leaders, and some fellow Republicans — as well as a legislative ultimatum delivered Monday by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — McConnell must navigate a path that addresses the president’s concerns without exposing his party to political attacks one week before a pair of Georgia special elections that will determine the Senate majority.

The fate of a proposal now rests with McConnell.

Under pressure from Trump, Democratic leaders, and some fellow Republicans — as well as a legislative ultimatum delivered Monday by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — McConnell must navigate a path that addresses the president’s concerns without exposing his party to political attacks one week before a pair of Georgia special elections that will determine the Senate majority.

Perdue tweeted Tuesday that Trump “is right — I support this push for $2,000 in direct relief for the American people.”

The comments from Loeffler and Perdue came as Sanders’s demand for a vote on the House’s $2,000 checks bill raised the prospect that the two senators would have to to spend several unexpected days in Washington amid the closing week of their campaigns.

“Let me be clear: If Senator McConnell doesn’t agree to an up or down vote to provide the working people of our country a $2,000 direct payment, Congress will not be going home for New Year’s Eve,” Sanders said in a statement late Monday. “Let’s do our job.”

 

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