Pressley calls $600 stimulus checks an ‘insult’ to struggling Americans

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) called the second round of proposed $600 stimulus checks for Americans an “insult” as Congress has deliberated for months over an additional COVID-19 relief bill.

The representative for Massachusetts spoke on the House floor Thursday, calling the proposed monetary stimulus checks sent to U.S. residents as part of the upcoming coronavirus relief package “hardly sufficient.”

“Four hundred and fifty pennies a day for the last nine months,” she said. “That’s what our government has sent the American people to weather this crisis. And nothing for the immigrant families who drive our essential workforce. It didn’t have to be this way.”

The upcoming relief checks are slated to be only half of the $1,200 amount that was first distributed to Americans in mid-April.

“Our families deserve real survival checks. Six hundred dollars is hardly sufficient. It is an insult. We must act to save lives now,” Pressley added.

Allies along the progressive aisle have contended alongside Pressley’s argument, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who argued the congressional $900 billion budget limit for the next COVID-19 relief package is “much too low.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has also been in concordance with Sanders, pushing to provide Americans with a larger stimulus check of at least $1,200.

On Friday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) blocked attempts to add larger monetary amounts to the individual stimulus checks, citing concerns the COVID-19 relief should be targeted and alarm about the nation’s debt.

The initial COVID-19 package passed in April cost the federal government a record-breaking $2.2 trillion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have voiced opposition for the upcoming package to surpass the $1 trillion mark.

Earlier this month, McConnell and McCarthy reportedly told the White House they would support the inclusion of $600 stimulus checks in the upcoming package.

The Washington Post reported Thursday two anonymous officials told the news outlet White House aides intervened after President Trump proposed during a phone call earlier that afternoon to push for “at least” $1,200 per person or even up to $2,000 per person.

The president was reportedly drafting a formal demand for larger payments when White House aides stopped him, informing him that doing so could jeopardize sensitive negotiations over the economic relief package in Congress, as legislators have already deliberated for months over the delayed spending package.

Tags Ayanna Pressley Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Josh Hawley Kevin McCarthy Mitch McConnell Ron Johnson U.S. federal government response to the COVID-19 pandemic Washignton D.C.
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