$2,000 Pandemic Stimulus Check Increase Passed by Congress

Congress on Monday passed the $2,000 coronavirus relief stimulus check increase advocated recently by President Donald Trump. The fate of the larger payment for Americans suffering economically from the pandemic now rests in the hands of the US Senate. The increase from $600 to $2,000 per individual has been rejected by Republican leaders since the issue arose last week when the president refused to sign the stimulus bill without the increased payment amount included. Reluctantly, Trump signed the bipartisan legislation into law on Monday, after which Congress amended the payment to the higher $2,000 amount and approved it with an overwhelming bipartisan majority vote.

Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated on Monday there is no justifiable reason for “Senate Republicans to stand in the way” of the increased payment, adding there is “strong support” nationwide to approve the emergency funds for working families suffering greatly and “crying out for help.”

The House approval was a surprising change since Republicans balked at the increase and blocked the changes Trump had proposed, causing a major hiccup in the entire stimulus package and government funding bill on Christmas Eve last Thursday. Reportedly, Republicans in Congress thought it was better to join their Democratic colleagues in passing the increase, rather than buck an outgoing lame-duck president and disappoint their own constituents in the process. The larger payment could very well stop on the Senate floor, leaving Trump’s effort to increase the amount more symbolic than substance.