Jeff Stein: Battle over $2K direct payments 'putting tremendous pressure' on Republican caucus

Washington Post economics reporter Jeff Stein said Wednesday that the battle over upping the direct payments in the COVID-19 relief package to $2,000 is “putting tremendous pressure” and “splintering” the Republican caucus.

On Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Stein described how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.) is “in this pickle” as some Republicans, such as Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock picks up major abortion rights group's endorsement in reelection bid Trump endorses Hershel Walker for Georgia Senate seat Herschel Walker's entrance shakes up Georgia Senate race MORE (R-Ga.) and David PerdueDavid PerdueGOP sees Biden crises as boon for midterm recruitment Trump campaign, RNC refund donors another .8 million in 2021: NYT Loeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run MORE (R-Ga.), have followed President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE and pushed for higher checks, while others are still uneasy about spending more than $1 trillion on a relief bill. 

“This fascinating thing is happening where these Georgia Republican senators, conservative lawmakers, who are up for reelecion, feel that for their own political survival, they need to say that they support these $2,000 checks,” Stein said. 

“And it’s putting tremendous pressure and splintering the Republican caucus in really profounding, new ways around an enormous transfer of wealth in this country,” he added. 

Stein continued by saying McConnell is having to manage the different factions on the checks “in a way that people who are supportive of larger welfare states really could not have imagined before the pandemic.”