Donald Trump's demand for $2k Covid-19 relief checks brings the Squad on his side while GOP opposes POTUS
The four progressive Democratic women leaders, who often lock horns with the president, have backed his proposal to raise the check amounts from $600 to $2,000
President Donald Trump has faced steady opposition from the Squad in his tenure. But, in a rare moment, the group of progressive women are currently backing him when it comes to the new Covid-19 pandemic relief. The president recently pressured Congress to boost the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 and his proposal received support from a number of Democratic leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer along with the Squad.
The Squad members — Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley — have joined Washington Democratic Representative and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Pramila Jayapal to introduce a bill that would more than triple the relief checks the Congress approved in its latest package.
On Friday, December 25, the president doubled down on his demand to Congress to raise the payments from $600 to $2,000 in the spending and Covid-19 stimulus relief package that the lawmakers have already sent for his assent. In a tweet, Trump said: “Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!” He was spotted with senior Senator Lindsey Graham heading to his golf club on Christmas Day morning.
Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2020
Politico’s Playbook reported on Friday, December 25, that the president complained that the funding package had too much “pork” and the direct payments were too low. The bill was taken to Florida from Washington but nobody was sure when the commander-in-chief would sign it.
The president’s position on the relief package was at odds with his own party as the GOP on Thursday, December 24, shot down a Democratic bid to pass Trump’s demand for the raised direct payments of $2,000 to most Americans. Ocasio-Cortez slammed the GOP in a couple of tweets for its stance opposed to Trump’s demand.
It looks like House GOP are going to try to block Trump’s request for $2k tomorrow.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 23, 2020
Some other items they’ve blocked:
- Retroactive unemployment
- Survival checks for people w/ disabilities, college students, adult dependents
- Larger rent & mortgage assistance
List goes on
Don’t lose out hope though - Republicans are trying to block $2k checks tomorrow bc we’re expediting, but bc Trump also vetoed the Defense bill Congress will likely reconvene in the next few days.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 23, 2020
Dems will then be able to override the GOP block & pass $2k checks to the Senate
Tlaib, a representative from Michigan, also criticized the GOP in a tweet. She also said in a statement: “This holiday season, families are being forced to make incredibly difficult decisions, such as whether they should keep their lights on or buy groceries.”
“Providing $2,000 survival checks would give those struggling right now a lifeline as we continue to fight to defeat COVID-19. It’s time for Trump to stop bluffing and get the members of his party in line so that the government can provide this long-overdue relief to people across the country during this time of great need,” she added.
They can keep blocking and expose which side they are on. We will keep fighting and try again on Monday.— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 24, 2020
Our residents (and yes the district's they represent too) need $2,000 survivor checks. https://t.co/XbB79v12a6
Pressley, a Congresswoman from Massachusetts, said: “We’ve been fighting all along for robust survival checks to help people meet their most basic needs, and the broad support that has emerged is a testament to the power of the people and the urgency of this moment.”
“Two thousand dollars in direct cash assistance will help families weather the crisis while we continue fighting for additional relief that meets the scale and scope of the hurt so many are feeling. Let’s get it done.”
In a tweet too, Pressley said: “The Occupant of the White House taking a hard line in support of what Progressives have been fighting for, literally all year, to spite McConnell. Honestly, whatever gets my constituents survival checks. People’s lives are at stake.”
The Occupant of the White House taking a hard line in support of what Progressives have been fighting for, literally all year, to spite McConnell.— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 23, 2020
Honestly, whatever gets my constituents survival checks.
People’s lives are at stake.
Survival checks now. pic.twitter.com/FsADptgffS
Omar, who recently expressed her unhappiness with other Squad members for taking the Covid-19 vaccine before the frontline workers and elderly, targeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a tweet saying: “Mitch don’t be the only reason people don’t get $2000, let’s do this.” Her tweet was in response to a post from Pelosi who accused the GOP of repeatedly refusing to reveal the amount the president wanted for direct checks.
Mitch don’t be the only reason people don’t get $2000, let’s do this. https://t.co/yuvsYUQX6m— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 23, 2020
Trump has in the past found himself at odds with the Squad on various issues. He has launched blistering attacks on the progressive leaders individually over their knowledge on economy, country of origin (Somalia for Omar, for example), skin color or distaste for Israel. But American politics witnessed a rare moment when the president found himself on the same side with the four women on the key issue of the Covid-19 relief package.