Democrats have seized on Trump’s sudden objections to the bill in an effort to get Republicans to accept a higher amount of stimulus checks – and Republican lawmakers are now in the tough position of having to decide whether or not to challenge. President.
Democrats pledged their efforts were far from over, and promised to move to pass a bill to increase stimulus checks to $ 2,000 with a full vote for or down in the House of Representatives on December 28.
“On Monday, I will bring the House of Representatives back into session as we will hold a recorded vote on our independent bill to increase economic impact payments to $ 2,000. Voting against this law means denying and denying the financial hardship families face,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“We hope by then that the president has already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep the government open and to provide relief from the coronavirus,” she said.
Passing the bailout package through both houses was a massive undertaking and represented a bipartisan advance after months of partisan deadlock and controversial wrangling.
One of the major sticking points that had to be overcome was the row over the cost of the package, with many Republicans warning that they could not accept a price that was too high.
After an agreement was finally reached, the president was expected to support the package and the White House had indicated that Trump would sign the legislation once he got to his office.
But on Tuesday, Trump threw all of that into question when he indicated that he would not sign the law if Congress did not amend the legislation and raised the “extremely low” stimulus checks of $ 600 to $ 2,000 for individuals or $ 4,000 for a couple.
Pelosi called on Trump to lead the Republicans to accept the higher sum.
Pelosi said: “If the president is serious about direct payments of $ 2000, he should call on Republicans in the House of Representatives to end their obstacles.”
Republicans responded to Democrats’ efforts today with a proposal to remove part of the spending package that included foreign aid – an area that Trump attacked after Congress approved the bill. Nevertheless, these provisions were largely in line with Trump’s budget request and were supported by the vast majority of Republicans. The Democrats rejected the effort.
At a news conference after the House adjourned until December 28, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin were still busy in ongoing discussions about the Covid relief package – despite the fact that Mnuchin helped negotiate the same deal that Trump had raised. suddenly. And, publicly, he questioned earlier this week.
Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the Republican leadership, says Republicans don’t really know what Trump will do next, but they hope he won’t veto the stimulus funding bill.
“I have no idea what he’s planning to do,” Blunt said.
“We have received assurances that the president will sign the law,” he told reporters after a hammer in a short initial session. “I have no reason to believe that Minister Mnuchin did not believe this.” Mnuchin served as chief negotiator on behalf of the administration.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
CNN Jasmine Goodwin contributed to this report.