Missouri Senator Josh Hawley pushes for stimulus checks
Pressure from Missouri Senator Josh Hawley to pass another round of stimulus checks in the same amount as last time hit a roadblock Friday with another Republican senator.
Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Said Hawley’s proposal was too expensive and too broad because he blocked his motion to pass checks for $ 1,200 by unanimous consent.
Congressional leaders are working on a separate plan to send checks for $ 600-700 per person as part of a larger stimulus package that will likely also include a new round of business loans as well as additional money for unemployed people.
Hawley did not object to the idea in a speech on Friday, but he argued that his stand-alone proposal to simply repeat the first round of checks passed in March would be the best approach for working families.
The clash between Josh Hawley and Ron Johnson
Hawley noted that millions of people are behind on their rent and struggle to put food on the table, and said passing his bill would show these people that they are a top priority. .
“Let’s send a message to working families that they are the first, not the last, that they are the most important consideration, not an afterthought,” he said.
Johnson, the Wisconsin senator, said he was keen to help people too, but objected to Hawley’s “shotgun approach”, which he said would weigh unfairly on future taxpayers.
“When I got here I ran because we were speculating on our children’s future,” he said. “I am not heartless. I want to help people. I voted to help people. I voted for the $ 2.2 trillion CARES bill, but I am also concerned about the future of our children. “
Johnson also opposed a subsequent motion by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., To pass the checks for $ 1,200.
Stimulus plan negotiations continue
The rejection did not appear to stop Hawley from continuing to push the issue forward.
Later in the day he briefly threatened to block a bill needed to keep government open amid uncertainty over whether stimulus checks will be in the larger package that leaders are negotiating, according to Politico.
He finally gave in after senior GOP officials assured him they would.
Hawley also tweeted that he would continue to demand checks of $ 1,200 for individuals with an additional $ 500 for each child in a household.
Saturday, Congress leaders continued to negotiate this larger package, which keen observers expect to be adopted before the end of the year.
After six months of coronavirus action, leaders are under pressure to adopt something to help people get through the next few months before vaccines become widely available and the virus takes less of a toll on the economy.
Data shows the economy has improved dramatically since the early days of the crisis, when closures slowed many businesses, but it remains in poor shape.
The latest figures from the US Department of Labor show that only about half of the 22 million jobs lost at the start of the crisis were recovered by November.
Austin Huguelet is the political reporter for the News-Leader. Do you have something he should know? Have a question? Call him at 417-403-8096 or email him at [email protected]