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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (REUTERS)
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (REUTERS)

Biden reiterates Trump's demand for $2,000 relief checks, says $600 is too low

  • Biden called for trillions of dollars in immediate further fiscal support, including increased direct payments, after a surge in coronavirus cases caused US payrolls to drop
  • President Trump signed the $900 billion relief bill last month, but initially refused to do so calling it a disgrace

Reiterating President Donald Trump's demand for $2,000 stimulus checks, President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday said $600 bill is simply not enough.

Biden took to Twitter to say, $600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks.

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Earlier on Friday, Biden called for trillions of dollars in immediate further fiscal support, including increased direct payments, after a surge in coronavirus cases caused U.S. payrolls to drop for the first time since April.

“The price tag will be high," Biden said of his planned package in Wilmington, Delaware. He promised to lay out his proposals next Thursday, before taking office on Jan. 20. “It will be in the trillions of dollars."

Biden invoked images of the unemployed waiting in long food lines and added a dire warning: “If we don’t act now, things are going to get much worse and harder to get out of a hole later."

Biden made the call for new assistance -- including boosting stimulus checks to $2,000 -- after an unexpectedly poor December jobs report that reflected a plunge in restaurant employment. The 140,000 slumps in payrolls highlighted how surging coronavirus infections are taking a greater toll on parts of the economy.

While the Democrats are set to control both houses of Congress after Biden takes charge, private economists see any new stimulus package falling short of multiple trillions of dollars. The 50-50 partisan split in the Senate will make a more ambitious proposal challenging to pass, testing the new president’s sway over lawmakers from his party and his ability to influence Republicans.

President Trump's $900 billion relief bill

President Trump signed a $900 billion relief bill last month, which included supplemental unemployment benefits extended to mid-March -- a timeframe that could serve as a deadline for lawmakers to move on the next package.

However, he initially refused to sign the bill calling it "a disgrace" and demanding that lawmakers more than triple relief payments to Americans.

Before signing the bill, he said, "I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple."

"I'm also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and just send me a suitable bill."






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