Manchin against Biden’s $2K stimulus check plan: ‘Absolutely not’

Sen. Manchin said that vaccinations needed to be the top priority

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President-elect Joe Biden has been pushing for a $2K stimulus check but a prominent Democratic senator has already objected to those efforts.

Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia told the Washington Post on Friday that he is against Biden’s proposal to increase stimulus checks. As theGrio reported, the Senate passed an economic relief package in December that allowed most Americans to receive a one-time payment of $600. It was a move that Biden welcomed as a “down payment” to those who have struggled financially since the coronavirus.

Sen. Joe Manchin
(Photo by Toni Sandys-Pool/Getty Images)

Read More: Some people may file 2020 returns to receive stimulus checks, IRS says

“The debate over $2K isn’t some abstract debate in Washington. It’s about real lives,” Biden said earlier in the week as he campaigned for Democratic senate candidates Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia.

“Hardworking Americans need help, and they need it now.”

Biden added that if Democrats had control of the Senate, an increased stimulus check could happen.

Warnock and Ossoff both won their races to give Democrats 50 seats in the Senate with Vice-president-elect Kamala Harris as a tiebreaker vote for any legislation. However, Manchin’s opposition may make it impossible for Biden to move forward with any plan to increase stimulus checks as the President-elect cannot afford to lose any votes for the measure.

“Absolutely not. No,” Manchin told The Washington Post. “Getting people vaccinated, that’s job No. 1.”

“How is the money that we invest now going to help us best to get jobs back and get people employed? And I can’t tell you that sending another check out is gonna do that to a person that’s already got a check,” Manchin added.

Read More: IRS relaunches online tool to track status of your stimulus check

The moderate-leaning Manchin acknowledged that his opinion was different from that of Biden and other Democratic leaders such as soon to be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer pledged to make increasing the checks a priority.

“You know, we have a difference of opinion,” Manchin said. “That’s the beauty of our whole caucus. We have a difference of opinion on that.”

Biden and his transition team have not yet responded to the comments made by Manchin.

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