The United States House has voted overwhelmingly to increase direct COVID-19 payments from $600 to $2,000 per person.
President Donald Trump who welcomed the move, took to his official Twitter handle to praise the House, where he tweeted saying:
“$2000 for our great people, not $600! They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!“, he said.
The House also override President Donald Trump’s veto of a $740 billion defence bill, setting the stage for similar action in the Senate.
Trump objected to the bill because it did not repeal Section 230, the provision of the Communications Decency Act that gives tech platforms legal immunity for the way that they moderate third party content.
The House vote was 322-87. It is the first veto override of Trump’s presidency.
The House had on Monday passed an increase in direct Covid-19 payments to $2,000 per person, after Democratic leaders took up President Donald Trump’s call for much greater stimulus checks.
The bill passed 275-134, clearing the 2/3 majority needed for passage. The legislation now heads to the Senate.
Trump initially baulked at signing massive direct Covid-19 payments, as he complained that the $600-per-person payments were insufficient and should be increased to $2,000. After much drama, he eventually signed the legislation on Sunday night.
Pelosi who has supported the higher payments had already scheduled a vote.
It’s unclear when or if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would bring the increased payments to the floor. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he planned to call for a vote on Tuesday.
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said, “For the Christmas future, Marley warned Scrooge there was a way for redemption and that was through a new generosity and a new kindness, and we could emulate that here this afternoon by raising that impact payment from $600 to $2,000.
The miracle of this season would remain the triumph of light for those who desperately need our assistance.”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) opposed the increased payments. “For me I worry that this whopping $463 billion won’t do what’s needed to stimulate the economy or get the jobless back to work.”
He predicted that many would use the extra $1,600 to pay down credit card debt or to keep in savings or “even make new purchases online at Walmart or Best Buy or Amazon.”
Later on Monday, the House is expected to override Trump’s veto of a major defense bill, in a move that would be a rare bipartisan rebuke of the White House.