- A group of progressive Democrats recently sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to include $2,000 stimulus checks in the next coronavirus relief package.
- The group included Reps. Ro Khanna, Katie Porter, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
- Calls are mounting in Congress, particularly among Democrats, to include direct payments in the next relief package.
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A group of 17 progressive Democrats are pushing Congressional leaders to include $2,000 stimulus checks in the next coronavirus relief package.
In a letter obtained by Business Insider, the liberal assortment of House Democrats urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to include the direct payments as well as a six month of expanded unemployment insurance without specifying further. The New York Times first reported the letter.
"This type of direct assistance has proven to be critical to lifting people out of poverty and have been among the most effective programs to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic," the letter to Republican and Democratic leadership said.
The group argued that stimulus checks helped people cover basic expenses like groceries and rent, in tandem with unemployment benefits. They also wanted future small business loans made through the Paycheck Protection Program to be capped at $500,000.
Signatories included Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna and Katie Porter of California; Pramila Jayapal of Michigan; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; Jamie Raskin of Maryland; and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
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Calls have mounted in Congress to include a fresh wave of stimulus checks in the next coronavirus relief package. They were left out of the bipartisan emergency coronavirus relief legislation formally unveiled on Monday. It contained $300 in weekly federal unemployment insurance from the end of December until April 19, 2021.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, and Sen. Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, have threatened to hold up a government funding bill if their plan for a $1,200 direct payments is not brought up for a vote.
The White House leapt into the negotiations last week with a proposal that included $600 direct payments, half the amount sent in March and April. But the proposal cut federal unemployment benefits to make room for the checks.
McConnell pledged on Tuesday that Congress would not adjourn for the year until it passed a new stimulus plan, in a possible sign that lawmakers will send a relief bill to President Donald Trump's desk by year's end.
"We're not leaving here without a COVID package," McConnell said Tuesday at the weekly Republican press conference.
Read the letter sent to Congressional leaders below:
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