On Christmas Eve, House Democrats urged US President Donald Trump to sign a long-overdue COVID-19 relief bill after House Republicans blocked Trump's longshot demand of increasing direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2,000. (Dec. 24)
STENY HOYER: Good morning, believe it or not, Democrats agree with the president, at least to the extent that we need to sign this bill now. $600 is certainly not enough for individuals who have been struggling these past seven months. And it isn't enough to provide the boost our economy needs. House Republicans rejected the unanimous consent request, blocking that increase though sought by Democrats and now also by President Trump.
Surely, the President of the United States, whether he's in Mar A Lago or any place else, ought to empathize with the pain and suffering and apprehension and deep angst that the American people are feeling this Christmas Eve and sign this bill. Understand we've had four bills that passed overwhelmingly after negotiations with the participation of Secretary Mnuchin on behalf of the administration.
And the president signed those bills. So this is an anomaly in this process. We can do what we can do. And so we, on Monday, we-- I will be talking to the Speaker and to the members of the Democratic caucus to determine exactly how we want to move forward. But we're not going to let the government shutdown, nor are we going to let the American people down from our perspective.
Let us hope that we join together. As I mentioned, so many of these bills were overwhelmingly bipartisan. Just days ago, just days ago, both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that we sent to the President of the United States who has demurred so far. He has not said he's going to veto the bill. I hope he doesn't veto the bill. I hope he signs this bill. And then as President-elect Biden has said, we will have more work to do. Have a-- a wonderful holiday.