The House on Monday passed legislation that would increase the amount of direct payments in the recently signed coronavirus relief package from $600 to $2,000.
The bill passed in a 275-134 vote. It needed a two-thirds majority under the procedures that were used for consideration.
The measure faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of Senate Republican leadership, said last week that he didn’t think a bill to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000 could pass in the upper chamber.
But bringing up the measure on Monday allowed Democrats to force Republicans to take a recorded vote on an issue that is popular with Democratic lawmakers and the public and supported by President Trump.
The vote came after Trump last week criticized the relief package over the size of the direct payments, creating uncertainty about the fate of the legislation. When he ultimately signed the relief package on Sunday, Trump said in a statement that he “told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child.”
Trump brought up Monday’s previously planned House vote in his statement over the weekend and said the Senate would “start the process” for a vote that would increase the size of the direct payments to $2,000. However, a statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued Sunday made no mention of a Senate vote.