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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will hold a Monday vote to approve the $2,000 COVID-19 stimulus checks requested by President Trump after Republicans blocked her attempt for a unanimous Christmas Eve vote.
House Republicans accuse Pelosi (D-Calif.) of ignoring Trump’s request to gut the $2.3 trillion spending bill that passed this week of billions in foreign aid. Democrats shot down their counteroffer Thursday to reconsider those funds.
Pelosi, who readily embraced Trump’s Tuesday night demand for $600 stimulus checks to be boosted to $2,000, tore into Republicans for objecting to unanimous passage.
“Today, on Christmas Eve morning, House Republicans cruelly deprived the American people of the $2,000 that the President agreed to support,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction.”
Some conservatives are alarmed at growth of the national debt during the coronavirus pandemic and don’t want to approve any more funds.
Most legislators are in their home districts for Christmas, meaning it would not have been possible to have the 50 percent attendance needed to pass bills by roll call Thursday.
Because Democrats hold the House, it’s likely the $2,000 checks will be approved Monday and sent to the Republican-held Senate for consideration.
Pelosi urged Trump to sign the massive spending bill before Monday.
On Saturday an estimated 12 million people will lose unemployment pay if the bill isn’t signed.
The stimulus bill would also establish a new $300 weekly unemployment supplement and give $284 billion in Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans to small businesses as local officials again order restaurants and bars to close.
The large bill combined COVID-19 relief and government funding for most of 2021. If there’s no deal signed into law by Dec. 29, there will be a partial government shutdown.
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