Democrats and Republicans have been at loggerheads for months over another stimulus bill to help millions of Americans struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But President Donald Trump has a plan to cut through all the red tape.
“If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
That “Nancy” would be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). As leader of the Democrats in the House, Pelosi could urge her caucus to support such a bill, which likely would move quickly through the Republican-controlled Senate and make it to Trump’s desk in the Oval Office for his signature.
Trump had another message for Pelosi: “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!” he tweeted.
Trump also voiced support for stand-alone bills to help the U.S. airline industry and America’s small businesses.
“The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Under the first stimulus bill Congress passed in March, individuals were eligible for payments up to $1,200, but that amount declined for those with an adjusted gross income higher than $75,000 a year. The $1,200 payment dropped by 5% of every dollar above $75,000, or $50 for every $1,000. The benefit didn’t apply for individuals with incomes over $99,000.
Married couples with combined incomes up to $150,000 were eligible to receive $2,400, subject to the same phaseout that applied to individuals. The payments phased out entirely for couples making $198,000 or more. Families also got $500 per dependent child under the age of 16.
Approximately 120 million U.S. taxpayers qualified for direct payments from the federal government under the bill.
But Congress has done nothing since for individual Americans. In recent weeks, Pelosi has been meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows met several times but could never settle on a compromise.
House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion aid package last week — down from their first $3.4 trillion bill — but the Trump administration and Republicans countered with a $1.6 trillion plan. Pelosi rejected that proposal as “inadequate” — so passed nothing.
Trump on Tuesday said Pelosi was never serious in her negotiations.
“Crazy Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left Democrats were just playing ‘games’ with the desperately needed Workers Stimulus Payments. They just wanted to take care of Democrat failed, high crime, Cities and States. They were never in it to help the workers, and they never will be!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Democrats blamed Trump for the gridlock.
“Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that … matters to him,” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said.