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PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Sunday urged Congress to pass a second round of stimulus checks with “more money” than the amount that lawmakers are in talks about.
Speaking on Fox & Friends, Trump blamed Democrats for not agreeing on a deal, as Congress remains deadlocked the issue.
"I'm pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they do the deal,” Trump told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade on the show.
“Right now, I want to see checks going—for more money than they're talking—about going to people."
Privately, Trump said he is willing to send second stimulus checks of up to $2,000, an anonymous source communicating directly with the president told The Washington Post last Tuesday.
Last week, a group of bipartisan lawmakers proposed a $908billion package but it did not include a second round of stimulus checks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer initially supported the proposal, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed unwilling to back it, according to Politico.
Upset that the stimulus package did not include a second round of checks, independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Republican Senator Josh Hawley on Thursday teamed up to push new $1,200 payments.
Hawley introduced the bill that would provide $1,200 checks for individuals making $75,000 or less per year, $2,400 for couples making $150,000 or less and $500 for children who are not dependent.
Sanders then called for any stimulus relief package that would include the checks, referencing the first round of stimulus checks that Congress approved in March.
“If we could do it in March—and it was the right thing then—now, at a time when the situation in many ways is even worse, we can and must do it today,” Sanders said.
Senior Republicans instead got behind the Trump administration’s $916billion stimulus proposal.
The Trump administration’s proposal, announced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would include $600 direct payments to Americans but no additional unemployment benefits from the federal government, according to The Post.
While the White House has been pushing a second round of checks for weeks, McConnell earlier this month suggested that Trump would not sign off on the $908billion package.
“At the risk of repeating something we all know, making law will require not just the Senate's approval, but also the signature of the President of the United States," McConnell said in a statement.
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