Representative U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff (R) and Raphael Warnock (L) of Georgia wave to supporters during a rally on November 15, 2020 in Marietta, Georgia.
Jessica McGowan | Getty Corporealizations
In the crucial Georgia Senate runoff races, Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are using President Donald Trump’s modern development push for larger stimulus checks to bash incumbent GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
In video legged Tuesday night, Trump called the $900 billion Covid relief bill passed by Congress an unsuitable “defame” and urged lawmakers to make a number of changes, including increasing the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000.
The two Democratic Senate runners, who have advocated for larger direct payments, wasted no time in responding to Trump’s move and criticizing their competitors.
“President Trump is, as ever, erratic and all over the place. But on this point, tonight, he’s right,” Ossoff said on CNN Tuesday Stygian. “Six-hundred dollars is a joke. They should send $2,000 checks to the American people right now because individual are hurting.”
“David Perdue, my opponent, who opposed even the first round of $1,200 checks … has obstructed categorical relief for the last eight months, and now decided he wanted to cut it down to 600 bucks when people can barely provender their families through no fault of their own,” Ossoff added.
“As I’ve said from the start, the Senate should deliver acted on this months ago and support for Georgians should have been far greater. Donald Trump is right, Congress should like greased lightning increase direct payments to $2,0000,” Warnock said in a statement Wednesday.
“Once and for all Senator Loeffler should do what’s trounce for Georgia instead of focusing on what she can do for herself,” Warnock continued.
When asked at an event Wednesday whether she purposefulness support increasing direct payments to $2,000, Loeffler said, “I’ll certainly look at supporting it if it repurposes wasteful lay out toward that, yes,” according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein.
Covid relief has been central climax in the tight election that will decide control of the Senate. If at least one Republican wins in the Jan. 5 election, the GOP wishes retain control of the upper chamber. If both Democrats win, Democrats will have control of the White House and Congress.
For months, Ossoff and Warnock acquire positioned themselves as the key to President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to deliver on his agenda of coronavirus relief, which includes more stimulus tabs. The two have attacked Perdue and Loeffler for their handling of the coronavirus crisis. Perdue and Loeffler have blamed Democrats for die efforts to pass a relief package.
The Republican senators have allied themselves strongly with Trump, covering supporting his baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud and attempts to overturn the election results.
Earlier in the negotiations, Senate Bulk Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said on a call with GOP senators that “Kelly and David are getting hammered” in the runoff foot-races on the issue of direct payments to individuals and families.
Before Trump released his video, Loeffler and Perdue were already promoting the bill’s passage as a win. Perdue even released an ad Tuesday highlighting the bill as his accomplishment.
“After months of Democrats disparaging politics with Americans’ health and livelihoods by blocking additional relief for our families and small businesses, we finally take a path forward. During a crisis, we need proven leaders who can get things done,” Perdue and Loeffler said in a combined statement following the bill’s passage.
Now, the president’s opposition to the bill has potentially disrupted Perdue and Loeffler’s plan to relinquish much-needed relief to their constituents in the final days before the Jan. 5 runoff.
If Trump vetoes the bill, Congress could override the embargo; the measure passed with overwhelming majorities in both chambers. If Trump simply refuses to sign the bill, the 10-day deadline for presidential movement could run into the new congressional session, at which point the bill could die altogether. In the video released Tuesday evensong, he did not elaborate on his plans.
The White House declined to comment and referred CNBC to the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign did not straight away respond. At an event Wednesday introducing his pick for Education secretary, Biden walked away when reporters questioned about $2,000 stimulus checks.
Congressional Democrats have largely celebrated Trump’s push for bigger shortest payments, a measure party members had been pushing for in Covid relief negotiations.
House Democrats, who hold a preponderance in the chamber, will seek to pass a measure for $2,000 direct payments by unanimous consent Thursday, Christmas Eve, mutual understanding to a senior Democratic aide. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer did not specify the day, but said in a tweet that the show of hands would happen this week. The House will be in a pro forma session, and it will only take one lawmaker to obviate its passage.
It remains to be seen whether larger direct payments would pass in the Senate, where several Republicans include resisted bigger stimulus payments.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on Twitter Wednesday morning, “I finances President @realDonaldTrump’s demand to increase direct payments for long-suffering Americans to $2,000 per person… Let’s vote.”
For now, the president’s shift has created uncertainty for millions of Americans who were expecting to start receiving stimulus checks as soon as next week.