House Will Pass $2,000 Checks, But the Senate Is a Different Story

This is my stimulus update for Monday, December Twenty-Eighth.  Last night Donald Trump while still vacationing in Florida and under increasing pressure from not only Democrats but also Republicans, signed the stimulus and government funding omnibus bill that was passed by Congress a week ago.  So what’s next?

Well today, as Nancy Pelosi said on Christmas Eve last week, the House will take a full recorded vote on a standalone two-thousand-dollar stimulus check proposal to change the stimulus check amounts in the bill for non-dependent adults from six hundred dollars to two thousand dollars.

So like Trump said in his statement last night, a family of four, two adults, two kids, would get fifty-two hundred dollars, two thousand each for the adults and six hundred each for the children.  This would add approximately three hundred and seventy billion dollars to the cost of the stimulus checks.

So this will be voted on in the House today, and Nancy Pelosi issued a statement last night after Trump signed, saying that Trump signing the bill is welcome news for the unemployed and for others struggling to stay afloat, that the legislation that is now law is a down payment, using that phrase again, and then in the third paragraph Nancy Pelosi says, “Now, the President must immediately call on Congressional republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000, which will be brought to the Floor tomorrow.  Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need.”

So nothing really new there, we’ve known since Christmas Eve when Dems did not get unanimous consent for it that this two-thousand-dollar stimulus check bill will be voted on in the House today, that’s nothing new, I think odds are good it will pass the Democratic-majority House.  So I predict that when the standalone two thousand dollar stimulus amendment bill passes the House, which we all think it will, that some unscrupulous creators will create videos titled, “JUST APPROVED $2,000 STIMULUS CHECKS” or they may even use the number from Trump’s example for a family of four “JUST APPROVED $5,200 STIMULUS CHECKS”, I predict we’ll see clickbait videos like that after the House vote, but the real question isn’t the House, heck, people, the House passed a three-plus-trillion-dollar stimulus bill in May, you think they’re gonna freak out over another three hundred and seventy billion on top of nine hundred billion, the question is, once again, as it has been since Christmas Eve, what will Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans do with this piece of legislation?

Mitch McConnell issued a statement of his own after Trump signed the bill last night, he said he applauds Trump’s decision, that the legislation is a major lifeline, it’s not perfect but will do an enormous amount of good, he thanked the President and praised his leadership, then says, “I am glad the American people will receive this much-needed assistance as our nation continues battlings this pandemic.”

No mention of two-thousand-dollar stimulus checks.  No mention of them.  We have not seen any indication from Mitch McConnell that if the two-thousand-dollar stimulus check bill passes the House that he will put it on the Senate floor for a vote, we have seen no indication of that.  However, as pointed out in my video last night, Trump said in his statement yesterday that “the Senate will start the process for a vote that increases checks to $2,000.”  But we haven’t heard that directly from McConnell himself.  But keep in mind that he also claimed that the House is going to look into voter fraud in the November 3 election.  And he also brings up Section 230, which he wanted repealed in the Defense Authorization Act, it wasn’t in there, so he vetoed the Defense Act, and his veto will almost certainly be overriden in Congress this week.  I don’t know, maybe golfing buddy Lindsey Graham told him otherwise.

Has Trump arranged some agreement with McConnell whereby if the standalone two thousand dollar check bill passes the House that McConnell will put in on the Senate Floor?  Was that some deal Trump made, OK I’ll sign this thing, Mitch, if you put two thousand dollar stimulus checks on the Senate floor after they pass the House?  I don’t know, that’s just speculation. 

But even if McConnell does put two thousand dollar stimulus checks on the Senate floor, the legislation would need at least thirteen Republican votes to pass, assuming all forty-seven non-Republicans, forty-five Dems and two Independents, vote for it, which they very well may. 

Last night Chuck Schumer tweeted, “The House will pass a bill to give Americans two thousand dollar checks.  Then I will move to pass it in the Senate.  No Democrats will object.  Will Senate Republicans?”  That is the big question today, that’s the question we’ve been asking for a while.  We know that Lindsey Graham seemed to hint with his tweet that he is open to two thousand dollar stimulus checks, he called them a reasonable idea.  I think Josh Hawley would support them. 

What about the Georgia senators?  Would they support two thousand dollar stimulus checks with the looming January Fifth Georgia runoff next week?  I don’t know, but the big question is will at least thirteen Republican senators support increasing the second stimulus checks from six hundred dollars for non-dependents to two thousand dollars for non-dependents while retaining the six hundred per dependent child under the age of seventeen?  That is not a guarantee, don’t let anybody tell you that it is, this amendment passing the House is not a big deal, Dems control the House, Pelosi wants two thousand dollar stimulus checks, I would be shocked if it didn’t pass the House. 

The roadblock to big stimulus, and you know this, has always been Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, and it would be really something if thirteen Republican senators got on board with another three hundred and seventy-billion dollars for “untargeted” in the words of Pat Toomey that I showed you yesterday, “untargeted” stimulus checks.  But no one knows the future, we can only guess.

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