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The House passed a standalone bill to boost stimulus checks from $600 to $2000 for struggling Americans under the CASH ACT.

The House voted 275-134 to increase the coronavirus relief checks to $2,000. Two House Democrats voted NO to increase direct payments to $2,000.

The bill now heads to the Senate where Republicans hold the majority.

Last week, House Republicans rejected President Donald Trump's demand to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 in the $900 billion Covid relief bill.

On Sunday night, Trump signed the Covid-19 relief package -- with $600 checks -- into law.

Trump issued a statement afterward saying he signed the pork-filled package to restart unemployment benefits and a federal ban on evictions, as well as to avoid a government shutdown.

In addition to calling on Congress to pass $2000 checks, Trump also called on Congress to eliminate Big Tech's protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and to investigate incidents of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

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President Donald Trump signed the Senate Democratic's pork-filled $900 billion coronavirus relief package into law on Sunday night.

The package includes $600 stimulus checks for qualified Americans and some non-citizens. Trump issued a statement afterward saying he signed the pork-filled package to restart unemployment benefits and a federal ban on evictions, as well as to ward off a government shutdown.

He urged Congress to approve his demand for $2000 stimulus checks to struggling Americans.

Trump also called on Congress to eliminate Big Tech's protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and to investigate incidents of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

The Democrats plan to vote on a separate, standalone bill to boost stimulus checks to $2000 on Monday, Dec. 28 at 3 p.m.

Senate and House Republicans have rejected a previous proposal to increase the checks to $2000.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to President Donald Trump's demand to increase the paltry $600 direct payments to $2,000 per American or he would refuse to sign their $900 billion pork-filled Covid-19 relief package.

If Trump signs the bill this week, some Americans may receive $6,000 for a family of three or $10,000 for a family of 5 in direct payments before Christmas.

The 5,593-page legislation was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for providing only $600 per American while giving billions of dollars to corporations, lobbyists and foreign entities (read the pdf here).

In a video statement on Tuesday evening, Trump called the Covid relief package a "disgrace", saying it contained tons of pork-barrel checks to corporations, lobbyists and foreign countries, while providing only $600 to Americans who have suffered through lockdowns and evictions.

"Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it," Trump said.

Some of the pork contained in the bill includes $453 million to Ukraine, $700 million to Sudan, $10 million to Pakistan for "gender programs", and tens of millions to the Smithsonian and Kennedy Arts Centers - neither of which are open to the public.

Pelosi called the $600 direct payments "significant", but she changed her tune when Trump called her out on Tuesday.

"Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000-Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let's do it!" Pelosi tweeted on Tuesday night.

"We spent months trying to secure $2,000 checks but Republicans blocked it," Schumer tweeted. "Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we're glad to pass more aid Americans need. Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again."

Neither Schumer or Pelosi admitted that Trump blocked their earlier proposals because of the massive payments to Democrat states that allowed rioters and looters to burn down their cities over the summer.

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President Donald Trump is refusing to sign the pork-filled Covid-19 relief package that the House and Senate adopted on Monday.

The 5,593-page legislation was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for providing only $600 per American while giving billions of dollars to corporations, lobbyists and foreign entities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the $600 direct payments "significant."

Referring to the Covid relief bill as a "disgrace," Trump demanded that the $600 direct payments be increased to $2,000 per eligible American.

"Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people, who need it, “ Trump said on Tuesday evening.

"I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple," as well as "immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation."

The legislation, which Trump said "nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity," was made public just hours before the House and Senate vote on Sunday.

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After weeks of negotiations, Congress has finally reached an agreement on a $900 billion Covid relief package that includes $600 for each adult and child.

The deal also includes an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits and $25 billion to extend the eviction moratorium into 2021 to keep unemployed renters in their homes.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement on Sunday night.

"Today, we have reached agreement with Republicans and the White House on an emergency coronavirus relief and omnibus package that delivers urgently needed funds to save the lives and livelihoods of the American people as the virus accelerates.

"The House will move swiftly to pass this legislation immediately, so it can quickly be sent to the Senate and then to the President’s desk for his signature. With the horrifying acceleration of daily infections and deaths, there is no time to waste.

"We are going to crush the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people..."

As part of the agreement, Democrats have secured provisions that include:

  • Accelerating vaccine distribution, specifically to communities of color
  • Direct payment checks worth up to $600 per adult and child
  • Additional $300 a week unemployment insurance
  • $25 billion for rental assistance
  • Strong support for small businesses
  • $284 billion for 1st and 2nd forgivable PPP loans
  • $15 billion for movie theaters, live venues, arts centers
  • $9 billion for minority deposit institutions (MDIs)
  • Tax credit to employers offering paid sick leave to employees
  • Tax credit to help keep workers in jobs
  • $13 billion in increased SNAP and child nutrition benefits
  • $82 billion in funding for schools, colleges
  • $10 billion for child care assistance to keep child care providers open
  • Alex Wong/Getty Images

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stalled negotiations on a $900 billion Covid-19 aid relief package during a Senate session on Friday.

    McConnell's staff told reporters the GOP leader won't support $160 billion in aid for Democrat stronghold states that allowed rampant riots and looting over the summer.

    Following a rare Senate session on Friday, McConnell said he will not support funding for local and state governments in Democratic strongholds.

    McConnell's staff say he sees "no path to an agreement" on a "liability shield" for companies and organizations facing potential Covid-19 lawsuits by employees who contract the virus on the job.

    Lawmakers proposed a slimmed down version of the liability shield -- in exchange for funding for blue states and local governments, but McConnell won't budge.

    McConnell criticized "controversial state bailouts" during a speech in the Senate. It's a point that he and President Donald Trump both shared.

    Trump insisted on a fresh round of $600 stimulus checks for Americans. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused.

    Trump also proposed an extra $300 a week for Americans on unemployment -- half of the $600 a week they received earlier this year, but Pelosi wouldn't go for that either.

    Another pressing issue is government funding to avoid a government shutdown on Saturday.

    The next deadline for a vote on Covid-19 relief aid is December 18. Unemployment benefits for most unemployed Americans are set to expire by the end of this month.

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    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin moved $455 billion in unspent stimulus money into a fund that can't be touched without congressional approval, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

    The move leaves Mnuchin's potential successor, Janet Yellen, with only $80 billion in relief funds that she can access immediately.

    The $455 billion includes unspent money that should have gone to stimulus checks and small businesses as loans and grants. The funds will be deposited into the Treasury's General Fund, which can't be touched without legislative approval.

    Legislative experts say the move can be reversed by Congress next year.

    Ernie Tedeschi, a policy economist at Evercore ISI, called Mnuchin's decision "a dangerous move" as "we're about to kick off millions of people from unemployment insurance."

    The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request from Bloomberg for comment.

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    Americans who receive an extra $600 in federal unemployment benefits in addition to state benefits may get an extension after the extra $600 ends next month.

    Some unemployed Americans receive a windfall of $1,000 a week when they collect an additional $600 in unemployment benefits on top of state benefits.

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    The extra $600 was part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act that President Trump signed into law in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Some lawmakers are considering extending the additional $600 in federal benefits next month, but other say the extra $600 creates "a disincentive to return to work."

    There are three proposals on the table for the next round of stimulus funding. Two of the proposals would allow Americans to continue receiving the extra $600 a week.

    But one proposal calls for a return-to-work bonus to motivate people to return to work.

    Republican Sen. Rob Portman, from Ohio, says extending the $600 weekly benefits past July would be a disincentive to return to work if Americans receive more money than they would if they were working.

    The most recent unemployment report shows that 2.5 million Americans went back to work last month -- a sign that economies are rebounding as states reopen.

    Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    A second $1,200 stimulus check is on the way to Americans who qualify, President Trump's economic advisor Kevin Hassett said.

    Hassett says the federal government will issue a second stimulus check to qualified Americans as the U.S. economy attempts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

    "I think it's coming sooner rather than later, Hassett told CNN on Friday.

    A second round of stimulus checks was included in the House Democrats' $3 trillion relief package. But the bill was dead on arrival on the Senate floor last week.

    Hassett cautioned that there was a possibility of double-digit unemployment in November.

    "We are getting back to normal," Hassett told CNN.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also believes that American people and businesses will need another injection of financial support as the coronavirus pandemic eases.

    "I think there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill," Mnuchin said on Thursday. "We're going to step back for a few weeks and think very carefully if we need to spend more money and how we're going to do that."

    SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

    Nancy Pelosi announced a new $3 trillion stimulus package on Tuesday that contains billions in tax cuts and other cash freebies for the wealthy.

    The bill also includes billions for "mandatory" vaccines and mail-in ballots to vote from home in November.

    More than 30 million Americans have been let go from their jobs amid the coronavirus shutdown. The stimulus bill will provide up to $6,000 in cash direct to families and a second round of $1,200 checks to individuals -- some of whom are still awaiting the first round of checks.

    But, as usual, the wealthy will profit from the Democrats' new HEROES Act.

    The House Speaker is accused of "sneaking" tax cuts for the rich into the proposed bill, as well as allowing high-income earners to pawn off part of their state and local tax burden onto lower income workers.

    The package includes billions for "mandatory" Covid-19 vaccines and $3.6 billion will go toward helping election officials prepare to count the 200+ million mail-in ballots the Democrats hope to send out.

    Additionally, the bill includes a 15% increase for food stamps for illegal immigrants, $200 billion in "hazardous pay" for essential workers, and $175 billion in housing assistance for illegal immigrants and low-income wage earners.

    Pelosi responded to criticism from lawmakers who say the new stimulus bill is stuffed with pork for the rich.

    "To those who would suggest a pause, I would say the hunger doesn't take a pause, the rent doesn't take a pause," Pelosi said on Monday.

    A House vote is expected on Friday. But Senate Republicans say they will not approve the package because they are in no rush to add more trillions to the federal budget deficit.