House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Thursday that next week she will force lawmakers to take a recorded vote on $2,000 stimulus checks for Americans after President Trump demanded such checks and House Republicans blocked Democrats from bringing a unanimous consent request to make that happen.
At the same time, Democrats blocked the GOP from bringing a unanimous consent request aimed at addressing the other part of Trump’s twofold grievances about the massive coronavirus stimulus and government funding package lawmakers sent to his desk – foreign aid.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., meanwhile, slammed the president in a press conference, accusing him of backtracking on the understanding that he would sign the legislation to fund the government for the next year while providing Americans with $600 stimulus checks and dispatching other coronavirus aid.
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“The deal that we made was a deal that we thought was appropriate in the sense that it had the votes to pass,” Hoyer said on a busy Christmas Eve in Washington, D.C. “And, according to Republican leaders that I have talked to, had the representation from both Secretary Mnuchin and the president of the United States that he would sign the bill.”
Hoyer added: “He has still said he won’t sign the bill, and I urge him and hope that he will sign the bill.”
The longtime legislator from Maryland then turned to lambaste the president for not speaking up earlier on his request for larger stimulus checks.
“Republicans had rejected proposals for higher stimulus checks in the bill that we passed and previous bills,” Hoyer said. “Last week as I said we reached a bipartisan agreement. We sent the bill to President Trump to sign. And only then, after we agreed on a figure we thought was too low for direct payments to families and children… did the president of the United States indicate that $600 was not enough.”