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The senators want the federal government to provide checks to low-income families until COVID-19 is over
Several Senate Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to support regular direct relief payments as millions of Americans continue to face economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ten U.S. senators said in a letter to the White House released on Tuesday that the federal government should provide recurring checks to low-income families until COVID-19 is over.
“Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions,” the Senate Democrats said.
The signatories include Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of the Senate Finance Committee; Sen. Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee; and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, per Business Insider. In calling for the measure, they wrote: “This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.”
The request comes as Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus relief package continues to move through the Senate— which includes the highly anticipated $1,400 stimulus checks, theGRIO reported. Congress distributed $1,200 coronavirus aid payments a year ago and sent an additional $600 in December.
Senate Democrats considered reshaping parts of the House-passed COVID-19 relief bill on Monday, as party leaders who are hoping to salvage a minimum wage increase abandoned one proposal aimed at pressuring big companies to boost workers’ pay.
Chances are dwindling that the Democrats will find a way to retain a minimum wage boost in the $1.9 trillion relief package. Compared to dropping that increase — the No. 1 priority for many progressives — most other changes the party is considering seem modest.
Democrats are hoping to unveil their own version of the massive relief package and begin Senate debate as early as Wednesday. Congressional leaders are trying to send President Joe Biden legislation combating the pandemic and bolstering the economy by March 14, the date emergency jobless benefits that lawmakers approved in December expire.
Biden on Tuesday stood by his proposed $1,400 payments to Americans.
“The fact is that $600 is not enough. The Senate needs to pass the American Rescue Plan and finish the job of delivering $2,000 in direct relief,” Biden tweeted.
Meanwhile, below is the full list of Democratic lawmakers calling for recurring stimulus checks:
Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
Sen. Alex Padilla of California
Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts
Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
*theGRIO’s Ashley Terrell contributed to this story.
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