Jacobs supports Trump's call for $2K stimulus checks but fate of bill hinges on Senate vote in Georgia today
Rep. Chris Jacobs voted last week in favor of President Donald Trump's request to give every eligible American an extra $2,000 in a COVID-related stimulus payment but the CASH Act remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.
Whether those payments will land in taxpayers' bank accounts in the coming weeks seems to hinge on today's runoff election in Georgia.
Two Senate seats are up for grabs and all four candidates support passage of the CASH Act but getting the bill through the Senate isn't just a matter of lining up enough votes.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, as majority leader, has the power to block a floor vote on the bill.
McConnell has argued that some of the direct payments would go to families who don't need it and would cost about $464 billion.
The House-passed bill, McConnell said, "has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate," vowing that the chamber would not be "bullied into rushing out more borrowed money."
Jacobs doesn't see it that way.
“Additional COVID-19 relief has been my priority since I took office this summer," Jacobs said in a statement. "I voted to deliver $2,000 stimulus checks to Western New Yorkers who have been hardest hit by arbitrary shutdowns, unemployment, and economic downturn. I commend the President for signing the bipartisan relief deal last night and for his support of increased stimulus checks.”
The CASH Act was approved last week by the House in a 275-134 vote. Fourty-four Republicans supported the measure.
The $2,000 payments were first suggested by Trump. He said he wasn't happy with Americans getting only $600 each in the last stimulus bill.
While campaign for the Democrats in Georgia's special election yesterday, Joe Biden, winner of the Nov. 3 election, said the $2,000 stimulous checks would be sent to Americans immediately if the Democrats win both seats today.
The race pits Kelly Loeffler against Raphael Warnock and David Perdue against Jon Ossoff.
Biden supports Warnock and Ossoff.
"If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people who are struggling right now," Biden said. "And if you send (Perdue and Loeffler) back to Washington, those checks will never get there," Biden said. "It's just that simple. The power is literally in your hands."
Even though Perdue and Ossoff both support the stimulus payment, even with the two Republicans seated in the Senate, McConnell could still block the bill from coming up for a vote.
A victory for two Democrats would mean the end of McConnell's reign as majority leader and, according to Biden, mean there would be no possibility of Republicans blocking the direct payments.
A Democratic victory today would also give the party control of both houses and the White House for at least the next two years and leave Republicans with little power to block the Democratic agenda.
The amplified power of congressional leadership to control floor votes has long been a target of complaints from the former Congressman from Wisconsin, and former Republican now Libertarian Justin Amash. He tweets about it frequently.
Decentralize. https://t.co/vuXEXE2cWT— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 4, 2021