Stimulus update: House approves boosting check amounts to $2K

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House voted on Monday to support President Donald Trump’s demand for larger coronavirus relief checks, boosting the amount from $600 to $2,000 per person.

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The vote passed by a 275-134 margin. The measure received support from 44 Republicans. Twenty-one Republicans did not vote.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

Trump reluctantly signed a $2 trillion-plus COVID-19 relief and federal package bill on Sunday.

House Democrats were seeking to approve the $2,000 payments after Trump demanded it, breaking with many Republicans in the process. On Thursday, House Republicans blocked a measure to increase the payments to millions of Americans, The Washington Post reported.

“The president of the United States has put this forth as something that he wants to see and part of his signing the legislation yesterday,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California. said. “I hope that view will be shared by the Republicans in the Senate because we will pass this bill today.”

>> Trump signs COVID-19 relief, spending bill into law

“Every Senate Democrat is for this much-needed increase in emergency financial relief, which can be approved tomorrow if no Republican blocks it,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said in a statement. “There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to stand in the way.”

The package the President signed into law at his Florida resort includes two parts -- $900 billion in COVID aid and $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies. It will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and avert a federal government shutdown that otherwise would have started Tuesday, in the middle of the public health crisis.

Trump originally called the stimulus bill a “disgrace” and indicated he would refuse to sign the measure unless Congress gave in to his demands to cut “unnecessary” spending and increase individual stimulus payments.

This week’s sessions are the final ones of the current Congress. The new Congress is set to be sworn in Sunday.

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