A group of more than 60 grassroots organizations is urging congressional leaders to draw a “line in the sand” at stimulus checks for working-class adults and their children.
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“We urge you to ensure that in addition to other measures, any COVID-relief proposal that moves forward includes at least $1,200 direct payments for working class adults and $500 for their children, and the continuation of Pandemic Unemployment Insurance,” the groups wrote in a letter the heads of the legislative branch on Capitol Hill.
Progressive leaders in Congress, like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., touted the letter Tuesday as they pushed for direct payments to Americans.
“It is time for Congress to listen to the will of the people and pass relief for working families,” Sanders tweeted.
The groups, including Demos and the Sunrise Movement, wrote that “Congress cannot continue to ignore the hunger, pain and economic uncertainty that millions of people are facing.”
Sanders introduced an amendment last week with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., that would provide a $1,200 stimulus check to adults and $500 to children.
President Trump, meanwhile, was privately pushing for stimulus checks of up to $2,000, according to The Washinton Post.
“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people,” Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired Sunday. “I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal.”
But a new $748 stimulus deal that was introduced Monday by a bipartisan group of Senators does not include funding for stimulus checks.
That exclusion isn’t sitting well with proponents of direct cash relief.
“I don’t get why so-called ’emergency relief’ packages for [coronavirus] don’t include direct assistance to working families,” Hawley tweeted Tuesday.
Congressional leaders were meeting Tuesday night to try to reach a deal on coronavirus relief and government funding, which is set to run out Friday at midnight barring an agreement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.