Democrats are getting behind the cause of handing $2000 relief checks to all Americans. While Republicans in the Senate are not entertaining the possibility of sending any more relief checks, Democratic support for the cause is growing.
The progressive base, deflated after Senator Sanders’ defeat in the presidential primaries, is an essential part of the Democratic coalition. UBI schemes are very popular in the progressive base thanks to Andrew Yang bringing them to the fore during the Democratic primaries. The first version of the CARES package, passed in March, included $1200 relief checks. This time, the Democrats want to increase the monthly relief checks to $2000.
The idea gained momentum after Speaker Pelosi stamped her approval on the idea. On call with other Democrats, Pelosi said she wanted the $2000 relief checks in the CARES 2 package. Democrats plan to unveil the second coronavirus relief package in a few days’ time.
Thinking Behind $2000 Relief Checks
Progressive leaders like Rep Ro Khanna have said that if the government wants people to stay at home and sacrifice their livelihood to stop the pandemic from spreading, it should support them through relief checks as direct aid.
According to a MONEY poll, 60% of Americans felt the $1200 relief checks were not enough. This would explain why the Democrats want the relief increased to $2000.
Rep Rashida Tlaib and Rep Pramila Jayapal have already teamed up to propose legislation to give $2000 checks to Americans during the pandemic and $1000 for a year after the crisis ends. They are not alone in making legislation. Senator Sanders, Senator Markey, and Senator Harris proposed legislation to give $2000 relief checks to Americans making less than $120,000 annually up till three months after the pandemic crisis subsides.
Trump could hold the key
Not all Senate Republicans are against any kind of relief. Many Republican Senators face tough reelections in November and want to be seen as supporters of relief efforts. However, it is safe to say most Republicans will be against any ‘relief checks’ legislation.
Trump could, however, change this quickly.
The president is aware of the need to give more relief aid to the citizens. He also understands the political benefits of giving relief checks to people directly. If he backs the $2000 relief checks, many Republican Senators could fall in line behind him.
(Image Credit – Gage Skidmore)