Trump, Lindsey Graham play golf, discuss stimulus checks on Christmas
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he's 'convinced' the president wants to boost stimulus payouts to $2,000
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham took to social media on Christmas Day, revealing his potential support to increase the dollar amount of stimulus checks for individuals as part of a coronavirus relief package approved by Congress earlier this week.
In a tweet Friday evening, Graham said “after spending some time” with President Donald Trump that he was “convinced” Trump wanted to boost the payout to $2,000 from $600, and that the president wanted to “challenge” a law giving big technology companies liability protections.
That meeting occurred over a game of golf between the two men at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida, WBTW reports. After lawmakers agreed Monday to a $900 billion COVID-19 spending package after months of logjam negotiations, Trump, who had been silent about stimulus talks since the election, trashed the measure in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday evening.
Trump ordered Congress to more than triple the amount promised for direct payments to citizens, to Democrats’ approval and Republicans’ chagrin, throwing the bill’s signage into uncertainty.
In a follow up tweet, Graham, one of Trump’s key allies in the Senate, said the president’s demands are “reasonable” and that Congress should listen.
Trump wants Americans to receive $2,000 or “at least” $1,200, the amount millions of Americans received in the first half of the year as the novel coronavirus spread across the country and derailed the U.S. economy, the Washington Post reports.
Trump took to Twitter again Saturday urging Congress to alter the stimulus check amount.
“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” Trump said, also railing against what he calls “‘pork'” spending as part of the omnibus spending package that includes the stimulus bill.
According to CNET, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Monday to approve $2,000 stimulus checks, though it has a major hurdle to climb to be approved by the Republican-led Senate.
As previously reported by theGrio, Congress passed a short-term funding bill on Dec. 18 to avoid a government shutdown. According to CNET, another government shutdown hangs in the balance on Dec. 28.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated that Trump must do more to aid in increasing the stimulus relief.
“If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” Pelosi, a Democratic representative from California, said in a statement Thursday.
“On Monday, I will bring the House back to session where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000. To vote against this bill is to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny them the relief they need,” the statement said. “Hopefully by then the President will have already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep government open and to deliver coronavirus relief.”
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