Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley doubts Congress will be able to comply with President Donald Trump’s suggestion to significantly boost the amount in those checks the federal government plans to send to most Americans.
The COVID relief bill Congress passed this week called for $600 checks to go out but Trump says that’s “ridiculously low” and said the checks should be for $2,000.
“I don’t think it is feasible because we are in a situation where we’re giving money to some people who haven’t lost their jobs,” Grassley says. “I think if we do any more, it needs to be more targeted towards those in need.”
In his video address Tuesday night, the president called the latest relief measure a “disgrace” and said he would not immediately sign it in order to give Congress time to rework the $900 billion economic stimulus package.
“I hope the president will sign the bill or let it go into law without his signature,” Grassley says. “Also, if more can be done, well, we’re told after the new president is sworn in, and it probably will be Biden, then we’re going to have another debate like this anyway.”
Grassley, a Republican, is confident a Democratic Biden administration would call for a change in how the allocations are made. “Whether it’s in December or February, it probably doesn’t make much difference,” Grassley says. “I would think, and I would hope Democrats would think, that it needs to be targeted towards people who are hurting more than people who have never lost a job.”
Without the president’s autograph, the federal government faces a shutdown next week and hundreds of billions of dollars in aid would be frozen.
Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, released this statement: “I agree with the President’s concern that the stimulus checks in the current bipartisan agreement are not adequate in the face of months of hardship facing Iowa families – and would direct him to the members of his own party who just last week blocked larger checks. I supported including larger stimulus checks, and stand ready to work with the President and my colleagues in Congress to increase those amounts. We cannot, however, lose sight of the fact that millions of Americans will lose their unemployment benefits and the government will shut down if an agreement is not signed soon.”