House passes CASH Act: Increases direct payments from $600 to $2K
Update: Monday, 8:35 p.m. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling on Senate leaders to take up the CASH Act in the wake of the House vote.
“The House has passed a $2,000 direct payment for working people. It is time for the Senate to act,” Sanders said in a statement. “This week on the Senate floor Mitch McConnell wants to vote to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense funding bill and then head home for the New Year. I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class. Let me be clear: If Sen. McConnell doesn’t agree to an up or down vote to provide the working people of our country a $2,000 direct payment, Congress will not be going home for New Year’s Eve. Let’s do our job.”
First report: Monday, 6:38 p.m. Donald Trump tried to play politics with COVID-19 relief, failed. House Democrats are rubbing it in.
The House voted 275-134 late Monday to pass the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act, the key feature of which would increase direct payments to most Americans from $600 to $2,000 per person.
It wasn’t quite a party-line vote, but only 44 Republicans voted for the bill, even as their lame-duck leader held up his final approval of COVID-19 legislation for days specifically because of the payment discrepancy.
“Throughout this public health emergency, I have heard from families throughout Coastal Virginia that they are struggling and need additional economic relief,” said Virginia Democrat Elaine Luria, who represents the Second District.
“Tonight, I voted to increase direct economic impact payments to families throughout Virginia because Congressional support must match constituents’ needs in order to quickly recover from this economic crisis,” Luria said.
Two Virginia Republicans who voted against the CASH Act released statements explaining why.
“Virginians across the Commonwealth are hurting, and that is why I fully supported President Trump’s call to raise the dollar amount of Emergency Relief Checks from $600 to $2000 by offsetting it with cuts to wasteful spending included in the bill. Sadly, Democrats voted down our attempt to make these changes last week. Therefore, because the bill only included half of President Trump’s proposal, I could not support the bill as written,” Sixth District Congressman Ben Cline said in his statement.
Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith went into more detail to explain his no vote.
“Yesterday, the President signed the more than $2.3 trillion Omnibus, which included COVID relief. After signing it, the President issued a statement calling on Congress to increase the amount of money going to individuals AND to cut bloated government spending.
“Today, the Democrats in the House put forward a bill to increase the size of the individual checks, BUT did not put forward any of the President’s cut suggestions OR cuts to spending that they preferred.
“This is a typical Democrat compromise. We will give you increased spending, but we will not give you the cuts requested.
“Accordingly, I could not support this increased spending, at this time, without legitimate cuts as requested by the President.
“Hopefully with vaccines being distributed, our businesses and our economy will be back in operation soon. If not, we will have to examine additional relief in the new year.”
Story by Chris Graham