After brief hopes that Congress would agree to $2,000 stimulus checks for most Americans following President Donald Trump’s public criticism of the $900 billion economic relief package – Republicans blocked a measure by Democrats on Christmas Eve to bump distributions up.
It means the U.S. government could shutdown on Monday if an agreement is not reached on coronavirus aid and overall government funding.
“Democrats agree with the president,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in a press conference following the vote. “$600 is not enough for individuals who have been struggling…it’s not enough to provide the boost our economy needs.”
Jobless claims continue to increase and the threat of no relief – not even the $600 originally agreed to earlier this week – is daunting.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, withheld his support of the unanimous consent, which would have allowed it to move forward. Now, the measure will come back before Congress on Monday, when they will have to come up with a solution – or face government shut down.