Washington D.C – There’s one thing on many people’s mind these holidays, how much money will they get in the next round of stimulus checks?
“It’s just politics. It’s not about the people. It’s just unfortunate,” said Frances McPhail of Willingboro, New Jersey.
The latest round of political sparring is over the newly-approved COVID relief stimulus package. President Trump posted a video on Twitter Tuesday night stating, among other things, that the amount of money issued for stimulus payments is too low and that the Hill includes too many other expenses.
“Congress found plenty of money for foreign government, lobbyist and special interest, all sending the bare minimum to the American people,” Trump said.
House Republicans shot down a Democratic bid on Thursday to pass Trump’s longshot demand for $2,000 direct payments. Democrats are supportive of the direct payments and now plan to vote on the $2,000 check proposal on Monday, though House Republicans are expected to block the vote.
Villanova political science professor, Dr. Robert Barrett, says Trump’s announcement could be in an attempt to stay at the forefront of people’s minds.
“He wants to do what he wants to do and it’s a very clever political move, I think, on his part,” said Barrett.
Trump proposed more than tripling the amount of stimulus payments per person. The current stimulus package calls for $600 going to each person making up to $75,000 per year. Couples making up to $150,000 per year would get a stimulus check for $1,200.
“I’m asking Congress to amend the bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said.
Along with his complaint about not enough money for Americans, the president thinks the bill includes too much money for other causes, countries and programs.
But University of Pennsylvania political science professor, Dr. Rogers Smith, says the fact that so many other spending plans are rolled into the 5,000-page bill should come as no surprise to the president.
“I’m sure he understands completely that the $900 billion COVID relief funds are folded into a much larger bill, which is intended to prevent the government from going into shut down,” Smith said.
Trump urged Congress to change the bill saying, “Send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package, and maybe that administration will be me.”
“I’m not sure when he’ll give up this line of thought that he will be in the next administration,” said Barrett.
Trump didn’t go so far as to say he’d veto the bill, but if he does, Congress can respond.
“The immediate question would be whether Congress can override the veto,” said Smith. “The Democrats are hoping to put the Republicans on the spot on Christmas Eve by trying to get a unanimous consent resolution to raise the level to $2,000. And it’s very unlikely that Republicans will go for that.”