Following President Donald Trump’s signing of the new COVID-19 relief bill, the House will vote today whether to increase direct payments from $600 to $2,000.
“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people,” Trump said in a statement.
Relief bill to be finalized soon.
According to CNBC, even if the House approves the increase, it is unlikely the Republican-held Senate will pass the change, given most opposed a direct payment of $1,200.
“Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said.
While the fate of stimulus checks remains up in the air, Trump’s signature approved a full year of government spending.
The United States is the richest nation in the history of the world. Allowing working folks and families to lose their homes, electricity and water, jobs, businesses, friends, and neighbors to this pandemic is NOT inevitable. It is a choice we make every day.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 27, 2020
Still, the relief bill sat in limbo for nearly a week. The Senate passed it on the night of December 21. As explained by ABC7, Trump’s “foot-dragging resulted in a lapse in unemployment benefits for millions and threatened a government shutdown.”
“This bill is critical,” President-elect Joe Biden said. “It is also a first step and down payment on more action that we’ll need to take early in the new year to revive the economy and contain the pandemic.”
Biden selects more staffers.
Just before the holiday, Biden added more members to his team. Jonathan Cedarbaum, Danielle Conley, Stuart Delery and Jonathan Su will join the Office of the White House Counsel.
“This team reflects the very best of our nation,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said. “They are dedicated public servants and legal experts who will adhere to the highest standards of integrity as we work to rebuild our country in a way that lifts up all Americans.”
Notably, Biden selected Dr. Miguel Cardona as his education secretary nominee. Cardona is a former public school teacher and Connecticut’s current education commissioner, for which he was the first Latino to hold the position. He made Connecticut the first state to ensure all public school students had access to a laptop and internet connection to engage in remote learning.
“As a lifelong champion of public education, [Cardona] understands that our children are the kite strings that keep our national ambitions aloft,” Biden said.
At 28, Cardona became the state’s youngest school principal, where he served for 10 years. He eventually went on to work at the district level and became assistant superintendent. Cardona earned a master’s degree in bilingual/ bicultural education and doctorate in education from the University of Connecticut.
Every student must be equipped to thrive in the economy of the future. Every educator needs resources to do their jobs with dignity and success. And every school needs support to reopen safely.
We can achieve this with Dr. Miguel Cardona leading our Department of Education. pic.twitter.com/vfYQhnPEEA
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 24, 2020