Trump calls for Americans to receive 'more money in direct payments,' as Congress may pass a package with $600 stimulus checks on Sunday

  • President Donald Trump urged lawmakers to pass a stimulus bill in a tweet Saturday night, calling for Americans to receive "more money in direct payments."
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said earlier in the day that congress could vote on a $900 billion stimulus package as early as Sunday. The bill is expected to include $600 stimulus checks.
  • Other lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Josh Hawley, and 17 House Democrats have also called for larger checks.
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President Donald Trump urged lawmakers to pass a stimulus bill in a tweet Saturday night. He also called for Americans to receive more money in the latest round of stimulus checks.

"Why isn't Congress giving our people a Stimulus Bill? It wasn't their fault, it was the fault of China," he said, in reference to the coronavirus pandemic. "GET IT DONE, and give them more money in direct payments."

Before Trump's tweet, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters that both chambers of Congress could vote on a $900 billion stimulus package as early as Sunday, as lawmakers were close to making a deal.

The package is expected to include $600 stimulus checks for most Americans, similar to the $1,200 checks that were sent out earlier this year as part of the first round of coronavirus relief.

White House aides reportedly talked Trump out of asking for $2,000 direct payments for Americans, for fear it could disrupt negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.

Trump said he wanted the payments to be "at least" $1,200 and perhaps as large as $2,000, The Washington Post reported.

The president also indicated during a Fox News interview last week that he wanted to see stimulus checks with "more money than they're talking about."

Lawmakers in both parties have called for larger direct payments. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, and Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican, pushed for another round of $1,200 checks.

Progressive Democrats especially have urged for more money, with a group of 17 representatives calling on congressional leaders to include $2,000 checks in the next relief package.

On Friday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley criticized the $600 stimulus checks, instead calling them "survival checks." In an interview on MSNBC, she said "600 dollars does not even cover one month's rent."

In addition to the stimulus checks, the latest coronavirus relief package is expected to include $300 federal unemployment benefits, funds for vaccine distribution, and small business aid.

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