If it decides not to hold a vote on the bill, the GOP would have to defy the Republican Trump. He has repeatedly pushed for $2,000 payments since he threatened to veto the aid bill last week.
He said he wanted larger direct payments along with less foreign aid funding in the $1.4 trillion government funding package passed in tandem with the relief proposal. Trump relented and signed the legislation into law Sunday night, approving the pandemic aid and preventing a government shutdown.
In a tweet Tuesday morning, the president called for “$2,000 for our great people, not $600!”
Votes in the House on Monday show the GOP may have become more comfortable bucking Trump. Only 44 Republicans supported the $2,000 check legislation, while 130 GOP representatives voted against it. Republicans also joined Democrats in easily overriding Trump’s NDAA veto.
Sanders’ move to keep the Senate in Washington through the week could also hamper Loeffler and Perdue, the Georgia Republicans campaigning in Jan. 5 runoff elections. If Democrats win both of those races — in which they have hammered the GOP senators for their response to the coronavirus — they will flip control of the Senate.
The Democrats running in those contests, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, have called the GOP senators’ coronavirus response inadequate and pushed them to support $2,000 payments. In Fox News interviews Tuesday, both Loeffler and Perdue suggested they would back the larger checks.
“I’ve stood by the president 100% of the time. I’m proud to do that and I’ve said absolutely, we need to get relief to Americans now. And I will support that,” Loeffler said when asked if she would vote for the bill.
Perdue said he is “delighted to support the president” in his push for $2,000 deposits.
Both had previously resisted efforts to send higher direct payments as part of the stimulus package.
The effort to boost the size of direct payments comes amid widespread concern about whether the rescue package went far enough to help Americans struggling to pay for housing and food. Congress failed for months to renew pandemic-era financial lifelines that expired over the summer as millions started to spiral into poverty.
Before he agreed to the $900 billion package, McConnell had pushed for about $500 billion in new spending. Democrats, meanwhile, called for at least $2.2 trillion in aid.
The compromise package the parties eventually reached includes $600 direct payments, half of what Congress passed in March as part of the CARES Act. It also adds a $300 federal unemployment insurance supplement, half of the enhanced payment Congress approved in March. The $600 weekly supplement for jobless Americans expired in July after lawmakers failed to renew it.
The new package includes $284 billion in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans. It also extends a federal eviction moratorium through Jan. 31 and creates a $25 billion rental assistance fund.
The bill puts more than $8 billion into Covid-19 vaccine distribution and more than $20 billion into providing it to Americans for free.
It also includes $82 billion in education funding and $45 billion for transportation. It left out any aid for state and local governments struggling as the pandemic drags on.
— CNBC’s Hannah Miao contributed to this report
This content was originally published here.