Loeffler, Perdue praise Trump for signing COVID-19 relief legislation after uncertainty
Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) praised President Trump for signing COVID-19 relief legislation on Sunday after his repeated criticisms on the stimulus check amounts raised questions about the bill’s future.
The two Georgia Republican senators applauded the president for deciding to sign the almost $1 trillion coronavirus relief bill ahead of both of their runoff races set for next week.
“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, COVID relief is again on its way to the millions of Georgia families and businesses who need it most,” they said in a joint statement.
“Make no mistake: a great deal of work remains,” the statement continued. “The coronavirus pandemic grinded to a halt the greatest economic turnaround in American history, and Democrats are hellbent on a socialist agenda that prioritizes wasteful, irresponsible spending over the wellbeing of the American people.”
“We look forward to continuing to fight alongside the president in his relentless pursuit to keep America great,” the senators concluded.
Trump signed the $2.3 trillion package, which included the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, in West Palm Beach, Fla., days after he condemned the legislation for allotting direct payments of up to $600 per person, instead of his desired up to $2,000 per person.
The president expressed his wishes for a higher stimulus check amount after both chambers of Congress passed the nearly $1 trillion relief legislation last week.
His signature on the package also prevented a government shutdown, as funding for the government was set to run out by midnight on Tuesday. Trump had slammed the omnibus for including excess spending.
“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” the president said in a statement. “I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.”
The president left Washington on Wednesday without specifying his plans on whether he would sign or veto the $2.3 trillion package. But the delay in his signature caused unemployment benefits to expire for millions across the country.
The two Georgia Republican senators faced pressure last week as they continued to prepare for their Jan. 5 runoff races and as Trump slammed the COVID-19 relief bill and called for higher direct payments — which Democrats support but most Senate Republicans oppose.
Loeffler had said last week that she would consider backing the president’s call for $2,000 direct payments when asked about Trump’s criticisms.
Their Democratic opponents, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively, jumped to back Trump’s request for more direct aid, with Ossoff labeling the $600 checks as a “joke.”
Loeffler and Perdue have aligned themselves closely with Trump throughout their campaign.
The Georgia Senate races will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. If either Republican keeps their seat, the GOP will retain control, but if both lose, the Senate will be split 50-50 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris being the tie-breaking vote.