PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Monday morning claimed credit for new, $600 stimulus checks – but many Americans said the funds won’t cut it.
Trump boasted on Twitter after lawmakers finalized a $900billion economic relief package on Sunday that includes $600 stimulus payments to most Americans.
“The President was responsible for those direct payments to Americans in the Covid-19 Relief Bill,” Trump tweeted, quoting Brian Kilmeade, a co-host of Fox News’ Fox & Friends show that morning.
Under the new package, the direct $600 stimulus payment will go out to individual taxpayers earning up to $75,000, and decrease for people earning more than that.
It is half of the $1,200 stimulus checks that were sent out in March through the CARES Act.
Several Americans have already opined that the $600 checks are not sufficient to cover their economic struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think it's long overdue, and not enough," Marlene Scott-Logan of the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia told WPVI on Sunday.
Scott-Logan said her grocery bill every month alone is more than $600.
“With five kids you figure $600, $700 or more, because they're home all day now, so that's breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks,” she said.
Another Philadelphia resident, Ebony Perry, said $600 “isn't going to get nobody nowhere.”
“Especially at this time, and it's the holiday season,” said the single mother of two, who is working three jobs.
Meanwhile, Michael McCloskey, who co-owns Interstate Drafthouse in Philadelphia, said the $600 checks would help his struggling employees.
“Pre-pandemic we had about 25 or so employees, so most of them are out of work, so the extra $600 will mean a ton to them because unemployment, the bonus unemployment had been running out," he said.
In addition to the stimulus checks, the relief package establishes temporary $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefits.
House leaders said they will vote on the package on Monday, and Senate may vote on the same day.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the package a “bipartisan breakthrough.”
"As the American people continue battling the coronavirus this holiday season, they will not be on their own," McConnell tweeted on Sunday.
"We will pass another rescue package ASAP. More help is on the way.”
If the bill passes in the House and Senate, it will go to Trump to sign into law.
White House spokesman Ben Williamson told Politico that Trump “has pushed hard for months to send Americans badly needed financial relief.”
“We look forward to Congress sending a bill to his desk imminently for signature,” Williamson said.
The second round of stimulus checks could be distributed shortly after Jan. 1 if Trump signs the bill before Christmas.
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