- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Monday reiterated his urgent call to include direct payments to Americans in the next stimulus package.
- “Congress cannot go home for the Christmas holidays until we pass legislation which provides a $1,200 direct payment to working class adults, $2,400 for couples, and a $500 payment to their children,” he tweeted.
- “This is what Democrats and Republicans did unanimously in March through the CARES Act,” he added. “This is what we have to do today.”
- Despite calls from Sanders and others — including some Republicans like Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri — direct payments are not part of the compromise package being put forward in Congress during the lame-duck session.
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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Monday made an impassioned call to make direct payments to Americans a must-have in the next stimulus package.
“Congress cannot go home for the Christmas holidays until we pass legislation which provides a $1,200 direct payment to working class adults, $2,400 for couples, and a $500 payment to their children,” Sanders tweeted.
—Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 14, 2020
The independent senator has previously urged his colleagues to prioritize $1,200 direct payments to Americans, a measure that faces an uphill battle in the short term. Direct payments are not included in the $908 billion bipartisan bill being championed in Congress.
Sanders pointed out that direct payments received bipartisan support at the outset of the pandemic.
“This is what Democrats and Republicans did unanimously in March through the CARES Act,” Sanders said. “This is what we have to do today.”
As weeks have gone by without a new package, Sanders has argued that the lawmakers in stimulus negotiations prioritized the wealthy and corporations.
—Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 9, 2020
Direct payments appear unlikely to materialize until President-elect Joe Biden takes office, according to Capitol Hill observers.
Many economists consider direct payments vital to an economic recovery. A joint letter signed by 153 economists in July argued that payments would keep consumer demand going as the pandemic’s fallout lingers.
“Even after businesses start to re-open and jobs begin to come back, there will be significant economic fallout,” the letter said, “and demand will continue to lag if people don’t have money to spend.”
Source: Bernie Sanders: ‘Congress cannot go home’ with no $1,200 checks sent
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