Top Senate Dem calls for $2,000 stimulus checks with incoming majority

(Gray News) - The potential new Senate majority leader said Wednesday he planned for additional economic relief payments, with help from two new Democratic senators from Georgia.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the current minority leader, is in position to be majority leader following Tuesday’s Senate runoffs. Democrat Raphael Warnock is the projected winner of one of Georgia’s seats, and Democrat Jon Ossoff is leading by a thin margin in the race for the second seat.

Both Ossoff and Warnock all but declared victory with the majority of outstanding votes in Democratic-leaning parts of the state.

“One of the first things I want to do when our new senators are seated is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families,” Schumer said at a news conference.

He also spoke as if the contests were won in Georgia, despite no projected call on the Ossoff-Sonny Perdue race at the time.

“America is experiencing one of the greatest crises we’ve ever had in our history,” Schumer said. “And the Senate Democratic majority is committed to delivering the bold change and help that Americans need and demand. Senate Democrats know that America is hurting. Help is on the way.”

Schumer did not specify if that $2,000 included the payments already outgoing to Americans. The most recent COVID-19 relief package from Congress sent $600 to qualifying individuals.

The bill was held up for a week by President Donald Trump, who called for the stimulus checks to be increased to $2,000, before he eventually signed it.

The increase to $2,000 passed the Democratic majority House but was not taken up by Trump’s fellow Republicans in the Senate.

Wins by Warnock and Ossoff would give Democrats and the GOP a 50-50 split in the Senate, with incoming Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking vote.

People can track the current checks with the IRS “Get My Payment” toll on its website, as well as find other information on qualifications: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

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