Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley has vowed to ask Friday for
an “up or down vote” in the upper chamber over a proposal to issue
a second round of direct payments to Americans as part of another
COVID-19 relief package.
The senator’s declaration comes as Congress runs up against a
deadline to decide on a deal ahead of their Christmas break after
months of negotiating.
What are the details?
“Tomorrow I will go to the Senate floor to ask for an up or down
vote on my bill to provide a direct payment of $1200 to working
Americans, $2400 for couples, $500 for kids,” Hawley tweeted
Thursday. “This is the #covid relief working families need.”
Tomorrow I will go to the Senate floor to ask for an up or
down vote on my bill to provide a direct payment of $120…
— Josh Hawley (@Josh Hawley)1608235476.0
The day before, Hawley said
from the Senate floor, “I’m not interested in stimulus, I’m
interested in helping working people survive and help them to get
back up on their feet so they can manage their own lives. That’s
why the need is so great.”
He argued in a tweet,
“Working people don’t want pity. They want help – to get back on
their feet & provide for their families. That’s what #covid
direct assistance is about. And I won’t let the Senate leave for
Christmas until direct help is on the way.”
The Missouri Republican has been pushing adamantly for direct
payments to individuals and families as a priority, after previous
proposals omitted such checks while including benefits for
companies and bailout funds for state and local governments.
Hawley even teamed with far-left Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in
pushing their colleagues to include direct checks, in a pairing
The Hill called “Congress’s latest couple” while pointing out
that the two Senators are typically on opposite ends of the
spectrum when it comes to policy.
How are negotiations going?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said from the
Senate floor Thursday that a “bipartisan, bicameral agreement
appears to be close at hand” on a package projected to be around
$900 billion. McConnell told the upper chamber, “We’re going to
stay right here, right here, until we’re finished. Even if that
means working through the weekend, which is highly likely.”
ABC News reported:
While a COVID-19 relief deal still must be finalized,
it’s expected to include $300 billion for the small business loan
program, money for vaccine distribution and testing, education
funds, and up to $600 in one-time direct payments for Americans on
a sliding scale depending on income levels.