“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade that aired on Sunday. “I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal.”
Trump has privately indicated that he would support sending a direct cash payment of up to $2,000, according to The Washington Post. The federal government sent out $1,200 stimulus checks earlier this year to millions of Americans as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which Congress passed in March.
The president’s comments come amid a renewed push on Capitol Hill to pass another round of emergency aid for families and workers still reeling from the pandemic before the end of the year. A group of bipartisan senators unveiled a $908 billion framework two weeks ago that’s garnered support from Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The aid package allocates about $300 billion in funding for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, $240 billion in aid for state and local governments, $180 billion to extend boosted unemployment benefits at $300 per week through March, and includes liability protections for businesses that remain open during the pandemic.
It notably does not include a second stimulus check, prompting some fierce pushback from a handful of senators, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo.