The U.S. Senate will now decide whether to approve $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. House has already approved the $2,000 stipends, but experts say it’s unlikely Republicans in the Senate will approve boosting the checks from $600 to $2,000.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declined to comment on the vote expected to come after Tuesday’s Senate session.
But Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says the House was able to show bipartisan support for the $2,000 checks.
“There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to stand in the way,” he said.
“There’s strong support for these $2,000 emergency checks from every corner of the country,” Schumer said in a statement late Monday.
Schumer had also tweeted this week that he would work to try to get the bill passed in the Senate.
“The House will pass a bill to give Americans $2,000 checks,” he tweeted. “Then I will move to pass it in the Senate. No Democrats will object. Will Senate Republicans?”
Previously, it was predicted that the House too would block the bigger checks in response to President Donald Trump’s initial refusal to approve the second COVID-19 aid package into law.
But many Republicans in the House decided it was better to side with the Democrats and increase the checks rather than go against Trump. In total, 44 Republicans in the House voted to increase the stipends.
Trump, meanwhile, reluctantly decided to approve the stimulus and aid package that would fund the government through September. He had wanted the package to have less foreign spending and provide more money directly to American citizens.
If the measure fails in the Senate, individuals earning up to $75,000 will qualify for the $600 checks. There is also an additional $600 payment per dependent child.
“Republicans have a choice: Vote for this legislation or vote to deny the American people the bigger paychecks they need,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
Pelosi had pushed for a bill to increase the checks on Christmas Eve, but the measure failed.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Samuel Corum/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.