Republican Sen. Josh Hawley is prepared to force a floor vote Friday in hopes of passing a measure to send a second round of stimulus checks to Americans as the coronavirus pandemic continues. “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 on Thursday. “This is the #covid relief working families need.”
Bernie Sanders is joining Hawley in the push to vote for distributing another round of checks. The unlikely pair have spent the week lobbying to have the checks included in the next coronavirus relief package. Reports have indicated that lawmakers have argued over the amount of money to be included in the stimulus checks as some senators prefer to push more money towards unemployment benefits.
The much larger COVID-19 relief package is still in the works and lawmakers have vowed not to leave the capital for their holiday recess until a deal gets done. Checks were initially left out of the $900-billion package but were added this week in a compromise between the two sides. The amount of the checks continues to be a point of contention.
In addition to another round of checks, the bill is expected to add additional unemployment benefits and send more than $300 billion in aid to businesses. The legislation will also fund additional vaccine distribution and money for renters, schools and the postal service.
Lawmakers were told to plan on sticking around through the weekend in anticipation of the bill getting done. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. “The Senate is not going anywhere until we have COVID relief out the door.”