• Nathan Max

Increase Stimulus Payments to $2,000


Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. $2,000 stimulus payments are now in Mitch McConnell's hands.

They didn’t have a problem with kids in cages. They didn’t take issue with Donald Trump seeking foreign assistance to win the election. They haven’t spoken out against the president’s corrupt and unconscionable pardon spree.


Through four years of Trump’s erratic behavior and despicable policies, Republicans backed mostly all of it. Their support for Donald Trump has been unwavering. Now, for whatever reason, the outgoing president is actually advocating to do the right thing. And all his most loyal, obsequious sycophants are against it.


What?!


The Democratic-run House of Representatives approved upping direct payments to individuals making less than $75,000 a year more than threefold Monday after Donald Trump called for such an increase over the Christmas holiday. Congress’s lower chamber did so over the objections of 130 Republicans, or 75 percent of those who had the guts to cast a vote. Many, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, did not.


If Mitch McConnell's Republican-run Senate follows, struggling Americans would soon see $2,000 payments in their bank accounts instead of the practically useless $600 amount granted by the just-signed COVID-19 relief bill.


The House approved the procedural measure by a 275-134 vote, with 44 Republicans voting in favor. Incredibly, most of the nay votes came from Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters. Here is a small sampling of the House Republicans who went against the president: Jim Jordan, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Dan Crenshaw, Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz.


Mind you, all six of these lawmakers signed on to the amicus brief in support of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s farcical attempt to invalidate votes in four swing states. In all, 91 Republicans who signed the amicus brief voted against $2,000 stimulus payments.


So, to be clear, these same lawmakers who favored undermining democracy and installing Trump as the president against the will of the American people went against his call to give more money to down-on-their-luck Americans.


And they wonder why Joe Biden’s campaign manager called them, “a bunch of fuckers.”


Donald Trump called the $600 payments, “a disgrace,” and he is right. They are. For most Americans, $600 isn’t enough for one month’s rent. Millions are in arrears because they haven’t worked in months. Increasing payments would cost taxpayers $464 billion, a small price to pay to throw a lifeline to so many.


“Give the people $2,000, not $600. They have suffered enough!” Trump tweeted late Monday night.


After all the reprehensible things Donald Trump has said and done over the last four years, for once he is on the right side of an issue. Americans desperately need this money. Whatever his motivations, and we can all surmise that they are not pure, he has chosen this moment to fight for what’s just.


Why are Republicans so against this? What is so bad about people having extra money in their pockets? That should be a good thing.


Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, a Joe Biden ally, told Bloomberg on Friday that $2,000 stimulus checks would be a, “pretty serious mistake,” because it could overheat the U.S. economy. What Summers fails to comprehend is this has nothing to do with the economy.


This is about survival.


Americans have to pay their rent and mortgages. They have car payments. They have to put food on the table for their children. They have to keep the heat on during the cold winter months.


Republicans don’t care about any of this. Suddenly, out of nowhere, they are concerned about spending again. Where was this devotion to fiscal responsibility when it came time to vote on Donald Trump’s massive tax cut for corporations, billionaires and millionaires?


Let’s be clear. Donald Trump is no working-class hero. But if he wants his last act as president to be a magnanimous one, then we should all get behind it.


And that needs to include his most ardent supporters.

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