Few Republican lawmakers are speaking out on their support or opposition to the president’s demands
President Donald Trump‘s criticism and refusal to sign the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill has left Republican senators divided and will leave many struggling Americans without protection from evictions and without economic relief.
As Covid-19 worsened, upending the lives of millions, Congress stalled in their negotiations, and finally last week they reached a bipartisan stimulus package that included $600 direct payments to citizens.
Although Trump was mostly absent from the negotiations, the White House indicated that he was on board. But soon after lawmakers in both chambers of Congress approved an agreement, the president said in a Tuesday video message that he opposed the deal, calling it “a disgrace” for providing only “a measly $600” in stimulus checks.
“I simply want to get our great people $2000,” Trump tweeted on Saturday.
I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in “pork”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2020
Trump loyalist, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, spent time with the president on Christmas Day. Known for flip flopping on issues, Graham sided with Trump and denounced the relief package.
“I am convinced he is more determined than ever to increase stimulus payments to $2000 per person and challenge Section 230 big tech liability protection. I hope Congress is listening,” Graham tweeted on Saturday.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri is also in favor of Trump’s call for $2,000 direct payments.
“@realdonaldtrump is right — workers deserve much more than $600, as I have repeatedly said & fought for. And there’s obviously plenty of $$ to do it — look at what Congress threw away on corporate giveaways & foreign buyouts. Let’s get it done,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
.@realDonaldTrump is right – workers deserve much more than $600, as I have repeatedly said & fought for. And there’s obviously plenty of $$ to do it – look at what Congress threw away on corporate giveaways & foreign buyouts. Let’s get it done
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 23, 2020
According to Newsweek, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and most Republican senators have not spoken on the subject, but a few Republican senators have spoken out against Trump’s demands.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri warned the president that attempting to amend the bill would be “a mistake.”
“It took us a long time to get where we are. I think reopening the bill would be a mistake. The best way out of this is for the president to sign the bill, and I still hope that’s what he does,” Blunt told reporters.
On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky repeated his opposition to any direct payments, stating that he believes any direct payment to working people is wrong.
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