Lindsey Graham is reportedly trying to talk Trump out of coronavirus relief checks for Americans

Kathryn Krawczyk

The freedom dividend's resurgence may be over before it even began.

During a Senate GOP lunch on Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told his colleagues he was trying to talk President Trump out of supporting individual coronavirus relief checks for Americans, Politico reports. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was also trying to get Trump on Graham's side, per Politico.

Mandatory quarantines in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak have already left many Americans without jobs, at least until the businesses they work for reopen. And the economic effects of the new coronavirus' spread may leave some people more permanently unemployed. That's led to bipartisan lawmakers proposing issuing individual checks to all Americans; some proposals have limited them by income bracket, but others are universal. Even Trump has said he'd support individual payments, but Graham has publicly come out against issuing them to every American indiscriminately.

Still, just after the meeting, Graham tweeted a clip of his Thursday appearance on Fox News, during which he said the phase three package would provide people "income to get through this." He'd support supplementing traditional unemployment payments by providing "75 percent of people's income up to $80,000."

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was among the first congressmembers to propose issuing $1,000 checks to every American to support them during the COVID-19-induced economic turmoil — an idea that looked an awful lot like former 2020 candidate Andrew Yang's signature policy proposal.

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