Members of the Massachusetts delegation are siding with President Donald Trump in his call to give Americans more money as people continue to grapple with the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Trump blasted Congress’ massive $900 billion COVID-19 relief package in a video he posted on social media Tuesday night, suggesting he may not sign the legislation and demanding changes his fellow Republicans have opposed. He called on lawmakers to increase stimulus payments for most Americans from $600 to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for couples.
Meanwhile Democrats, including those that represent the Bay State, are responding in a chorus of support. They're saying that this is what they've been asking for all along.
...Lawmakers spent months in a stalemate over pandemic relief funds, even as COVID-19 cases soared across the country. Democrats had pushed for higher payments to Americans, but compromised with Republicans to allow a deal to proceed.
Republicans have been reluctant to spend more on pandemic relief and only agreed to the big year-end package as time dwindled for a final deal. Trump's call for changes to the legislation will test his sway with a Republican Party he has held tight control of throughout his presidency.
...Representatives Katherine Clark and Lori Trahan called out McConnell, urging him to act on Trump's demands. The Congresswomen warned that time is of the essence as local businesses and constituents seek economic relief from the pandemic.
Katherine Clark: "$2,000 is what we wanted all along. Get ready, @senatemajldr! The American people don’t have time to wait." (Twitter 12/22).
...The relief package, brought forward Monday afternoon, sped through the House and Senate in a matter of hours as lawmakers worked to close the books on the year.
The hard-fought compromise includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains other end-of-session priorities, such as money for cash-starved transit systems, an increase in food stamp benefits and about $4 billion to help other nations provide a COVID-19 vaccine for their people.
Original story here.