President Trump’s request that Congress rewrite the massive coronavirus relief bill passed earlier this week to include direct payments of $2,000 to Americans is being met with cheers from progressive Democrats.
“Let’s do it,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in a tweet late Tuesday. “[Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)] and I already co-wrote the COVID amendment for $2,000 checks, so it’s ready to go.”
“Glad to see the President is willing to support our legislation,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
In a video message earlier Tuesday evening, Trump ripped the $2.3 Trillion bill, which as written includes stimulus checks of only $600 as part of a $900 billion in coronavirus relief funding. The bill also includes another $1.4 trillion to fund the government through most of next year.
“A few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people. It’s taken forever. However, the bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. It really is a disgrace,” Trump said.
“Despite all of this wasteful spending and much more, the $900 billion package provides hardworking taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments, and not enough money is given to small businesses, and in particular restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously.”
The bill has been criticized by many Democrats for not including enough money in stimulus checks for Americans and no funding for state and local governments adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Some Republicans have said the package is too expensive and chock full of wasteful spending and unnecessary items.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also welcomed Trump’s remarks.
“That’s great!” he tweeted. “Now, Mr. President, get [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] and your Republican friends to stop opposing it and we can provide working class Americans with $2,000. Let’s do it.”
Other progressives in the House echoed the sentiments.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is ready to bring a pitch including the $2,000 checks to the House floor by unanimous consent.
Other Senate Democrats have balked at the idea of rewriting the long-sought bill, however, which is the second-largest in history and runs more than 5,000 pages.
“Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we’re glad to pass more aid Americans need,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said late Tuesday night.