Incumbent President Donald Trump has been very expressive on his aim to deliver $2,000 in COVID relief funds to Americans, rather than the proposed $600 package. He reiterated it, as he spent part of his Christmas with ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham, in Palm Beach, Florida, amid his awaited decision to sign the COVID-19 relief bill.
On Friday night, Lindsey Graham echoed through her Twitter account and wrote, "After spending some time with President @realDonaldTrump today, I am convinced he is more determined than ever to increase stimulus checks to $2000 per person and challenge Section 230 big tech liability protection," after meeting with the president. These were Trump's thoughts earlier this week.
In the same social media account, he added, "Both are reasonable demands, and I hope Congress is listening. The biggest winner would be the American people."
On Dec. 21, the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that included $600 stimulus checks. Congress also passed a $2.3 trillion government funding package.
A day later, Trump said lawmakers should increase the stimulus checks to $2,000, and will fully support this act. He also advised lawmakers to prioritize stimulus checks over other assistance programs for other countries from the government funding bill. Trump had previously pushed for alteration or removal of Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act through the defense funding bill. He believes it will facilitate the spread of foreign disinformation online, which is a very high risk to national security.
In a video message, Trump, while at his resort in Florida for Christmas, said, "In the new packages, Congress "found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it."
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On Dec. 28, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans on bringing House members back into session to vote on the proposal for $2,000 direct payments or stimulus checks.
She said in a statement, "If about the $2,000 direct payments or stimulus checks, the President must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction," not mentioning foreign aid.
A similar statement was issued by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about foreign aids but did not cite an increase in direct payments or stimulus checks proposal.
Among those encouraging the president to sign the bills as is, is Top Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. In contrast, frequent Trump ally Sen. Rand Paul and others censured direct payments.
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Sen. Paul said, "It's a really foolish, airheaded, left-wing socialist idea to pass out free money to people, so I part ways with the president on giving people free money," adding that he feels stimulus checks are only for people without jobs.
On Christmas, Trump wrote that he had made many calls and engaged in many meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, and "Why would politicians not want to give people $2,000, rather than only $600?" he posted on Twitter. "It wasn't their fault. Give our people the money!" referring to the stimulus checks.