By Jack Phillips
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he opposes raising the stimulus check amount in the COVID relief package to $2,000 from $600, as suggested by President Donald Trump and other officials.
“If we went to $2,000 per person, the additional borrowing would be up to almost $500 billion,” Romney said, according to Utah’s KUTV. “Someone’s got to pay for that. We can’t just have free money.”
The former Republican presidential candidate said he also opposed providing $600 stimulus payments.
However, Romney didn’t appear to be opposed to other spending measures included in the massive measure, including $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), billions of dollars for landlords, and $47 billion for transportation.
Trump reiterated on Dec. 25 that the $2,000 stimulus payments should be distributed in a new CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus relief bill.
“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Prior to that tweet, Trump had condemned the bill because, he said, it includes too many non-pandemic related measures, including significant amounts of funding to foreign governments, as well as for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
House Democrats, after Trump’s initial comment about stimulus checks, rushed to schedule a vote on including them. Republicans in Congress blocked the effort.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) scheduled a Dec. 28 vote on a standalone bill to provide $2,000 stimulus payments.
“Monday, I will bring the House back to a session where we will hold a recorded vote on our standalone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000,” the House speaker said in a statement. “To vote against this bill is to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny them the relief they need.”
However, House Democrats “have conveniently ignored the concerns expressed by the president, and shared by our constituents, that we ought to reexamine how our tax dollars are spent overseas while so many of our neighbors at home are struggling to make ends meet,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said last week.
“Thus, Republicans will offer a unanimous consent request to revisit the state and foreign operations title of the omnibus so that we can fully address the concerns at hand. It will be up to Speaker Pelosi to decide if she wants to act on behalf of the American people,” McCarthy wrote. Democrats objected to the consent vote.
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