GOP Senator Marco Rubio Calls For $2,000 Stimulus Checks To Heal ‘Divided Nation’

Topline

In a letter first obtained by Axios, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called on President-elect Joe Biden to press Congress for $2,000 stimulus check legislation on his first day in office, citing the need to heal a “deeply divided nation.”

Key Facts

Rubio said that while he has concerns about the long-term effects of further stimulus spending (like most, if not all, of his colleagues in the GOP), lawmakers “cannot ignore” the fact that millions of families are in need of more aid. 

Increasing the direct payments from $600 (as authorized by the new relief package President Trump signed just after Christmas) to $2,000 will cost the U.S. government $363.8 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. 

Rubio added that passing legislation for $2,000 checks, outside of what he described as the “normal political games,” would send a “positive message” and would be interpreted as a show of unity between Democrats and Republicans. 

Biden has repeatedly voiced his support for increasing direct stimulus payments to $2,000, and the vast majority of Democratic lawmakers are on board with the plan. 

The measure has faced some pushback from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a conservative Democrat whose vote will be critical in passing the legislation, who said last week that the larger checks should be more narrowly targeted to those who have actually lost jobs and income.

Crucial Quote

“It would send a powerful message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to send you legislation to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling during the pandemic from $600 to $2,000,” Rubio wrote. 

Key Background

Amid concerns that lawmakers won’t be able to focus on an ambitious economic agenda while impeachment proceedings against President Trump are ongoing, incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked lawmakers to consider additional Covid-19 relief measures—including $2,000 stimulus checks—the “first order of business” of the new Senate.

Further Reading

Scoop: Rubio asks Biden for $2K stimulus checks as unity appeal (Axios)

Schumer On $2,000 Stimulus Checks Amid Trump Impeachment Push: ‘We Will Get That Done’ (Forbes)

Here’s What We Know About Biden’s Massive Stimulus Plan Coming This Week (Forbes)

With Democrats Poised To Take Senate, Schumer Aims To Pass $2,000 Stimulus Checks First (Forbes)

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