GOP Georgia senators throw support behind $2,000 stimulus checks

Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) on Tuesday threw their support behind a President Trump-backed effort to increase the amount of recently passed stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.

The endorsement from the two senators — who are sticking closely with President Trump as they fight for their political lives in next week’s Georgia runoff elections — comes after the legislation passed the House on Monday in a 275-134 vote.

“I’m delighted to support the president in this $2,000. … So I fully support what the president is doing right now,” Perdue said during an interview with Fox News on Tuesday.

Perdue, who is in a tight race with Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff in his bid for a second term, added in a tweet that “President @realDonaldTrump is right.”

Loeffler, who was appointed to the Senate and faces her own tight runoff battle against Democratic candidate the Rev. Raphael Warnock, echoed the senior Georgia senator, tweeting “I agree” with Trump. She added in a separate Fox News interview that she supports the push to increase the amount of the direct payment from $600 to $2,000.

“The president has fought for our country from day one. He continues to fight for every single American. I’ve stood by the president 100 percent of the time. I’m proud to do that and I’ve said absolutely, we need to get relief to Americans now, and I will support that,” Loeffler said.  

In addition to Perdue and Loeffler, GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) have backed raising the amount of the stimulus checks. Under the $2.3 trillion deal signed into law on Sunday night, Americans who make up to $75,000 will get a $600 check, with the amount of the direct payment scaling down for higher incomes.

Trump, in his statement, claimed that the “Senate will start the process for a vote that increases checks to $2,000, repeals Section 230, and starts an investigation into voter fraud.”

Democrats are also trying to build pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to give the House-passed checks proposal a vote, warning that they will slow-walk the effort to override Trump’s veto of an unrelated defense policy bill. 

McConnell has made no comments yet about if he will give the House bill a vote, or if he’ll bring a proposal to increase the amount of direct assistance to the floor at all. Tying it to a full repeal of Section 230, a legal shield for tech companies, and election-related issues would likely crater Democratic support for any bill.

If McConnell gave it a stand-alone vote, Democrats would need the support of at least 12 Republicans if all 48 members of their caucus voted to increase the amount of direct assistance.

The runoff in Georgia will determine which party controls the upper chamber. Democrats need to win both seats in order to split the chamber 50-50 and gain the advantage when Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is sworn in and becomes the tie-breaking vote.

Tags $2000 check Coronavirus David Perdue direct payments Donald Trump Georgia georgia runoff Josh Hawley Kelly Loeffler Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio Mitch McConnell relief bill Senate Stimulus
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