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President Donald Trump today called on Congress to increase the direct checks in the stimulus bill from $600 to $2000.

It appears that the House will attempt to bring the measure onto the floor. Do any Republicans in Congress support $2000 stimulus checks?

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Per this article Senator Hawley (R-Mo) was arguing for the $1200 stimulus check as late as last Friday, so there are some Republicans in the more expansive camp. A $2000 check was never seriously on the table — the main discussion has been between $600 and $1200 — and it's impossible to say if that sum would pass muster among Democrats, much less Republicans. I'm not sure where Trump picked up on that figure, though he mentioned it earlier in the week as well. I'm also not sure why Trump is pressing this point now, when it's clear that even Republicans want to pass something before the holidays (and the upcoming Georgia runoffs). Perhaps he's just flexing his muscles to let people know he's still president, and will sign the bill regardless.

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  • 7
    Regarding what Democrats would say: Pelosi responded: "At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent.".
    – tim
    Dec 23 '20 at 8:03
  • 11
    Regarding why now... Well, it dominated the news that he pardoned a number of straight up murderers, so there's also that possible intention.
    – DonFusili
    Dec 23 '20 at 10:07
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    One important point is that the $1,200 figure is "on the table" because the House of Representatives passed a bill with that amount in it back in late September, but the Senate hasn't been willing to take it up and vote on it.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 23 '20 at 14:28
  • ...of course the timing shouldn't be lost on people either. Anything passed that close to the quadrennial election day was going to be heavily influenced by concerns about electoral positioning.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 23 '20 at 14:30
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Lindsey Graham has publicly come out in support of it now:

Graham on Wednesday said Congress should vote on language boosting the size of the stimulus checks and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

“I support President @realDonaldTrump’s demand to increase direct payments for long-suffering Americans to $2,000 per person. And I also support his call to end Section 230 Big Tech legal liability protection. Let’s vote,” he tweeted.

... but not the House GOP leadership, it seems.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told fellow Republicans Wednesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to pass a bill boosting stimulus payments for individuals to $2,000 will fail, according to a person who participated in a private call with GOP House members. [...]

GOP lawmakers had resisted larger stimulus checks in an effort to hold the total cost of the pandemic package below $1 trillion, citing concerns about a wider fiscal deficit.

As far as I can tell, the only legislators who had spoken in favor of the $2000 figure before were some Democrats like Sanders and Markey, back in September.

Also, the Senate passed the CAA bill with 92-6, so they could override a presidential veto with ease. I guess Trump is betting they won't dare to go against him (given his traction with the base) or something like that. Of some note here, Trump just vetoed the NDAA, setting up a real showdown with Congress on that. An unnamed Senate GOP aide was quoted by the Hill saying that "There are at least 19 Republicans that will override both vetoes".

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  • @T.E.D.: we'll see I guess. McConnell has already announced a session or two on Dec 28-29 at least to override Trump's veto on the defense bill.
    – Fizz
    Dec 23 '20 at 14:37
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    The problem is that Trump can merely refuse to sign the bill: called a pocket veto. Normally a US president can only do this for 10 days and then the bill becomes law without his signature, but if congress adjourns before the the 10 day period expires, the bill is effectively vetoed. And right now, Congress really wants to adjourn for the holidays. I have no reason to believe that Trump understands this principle, but Congresspeople certainly do; Trump could effectively kill the stimulus package and force Congress to repass it in January. Dec 23 '20 at 16:58
  • 2
    @TedWrigley an attempt use the pocket veto to kill a bill that Congress supports could easily be countered by holding pro forma sessions until the 10 day period elapses. Such maneuvers are routinely used to prevent recess appointments and would work just as well for pocket vetoes.
    – Nobody
    Dec 23 '20 at 19:00
  • 1
    Wellp, Trump indeed called McConnell's bluff and vetoed the defense bill. Looks like we'll get to test everyone's theories on who really calls the shots with Senate Republicans after Xmas.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 23 '20 at 22:47
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    @Nobody The 10 day run begins when the President gets the bill. If Congress adjourns during the 10-day run, the bill does not become law. Regardless of pro forma sessions, this session ends on Jan 3 2021, effectively adjourning the Congress (whether Congress likes it or not). If Trump is going to pocket, the key date is when it goes to the President.
    – BobE
    Dec 24 '20 at 3:43
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The House passed the CASH Act of 2020 (H.R. 9051) that would increase the direct payments of $600 to $2,000 for those who earned less than $75,000 last year.

Per the roll call vote, 44 House Republicans support the bill.

In the Senate, it appears that 6 Republicans support the bill so far.

  • Deb Fischer (R-NE), source: quote
  • Lindsey Graham (R–SC), source: Twitter
  • Josh Hawley (R–MO), source: Twitter
  • Kelly Loeffler (R–GA), source: interview
  • David Perdue (R–GA), source: Twitter
  • Marco Rubio (R–FL), source: press release

This is further backed up by this Fox Business article.

Hawley is joined by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., David Perdue, R-Ga., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in openly supporting the additional relief. Seven more Republicans and every Democrat would be needed to pass the measure. One of them could be Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., who has told Politico's Burgess Everett that she was in favor of additional financial assistance.

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