On Monday, the lower house of the US Congress approved a proposal by President Donald Trump to increase the amount of aid to the population in the context of the pandemic from $ 600 to $ 2,000. A Senate meeting will take place on Tuesday, with a majority of Republicans who previously rejected the $ 1,200 payment.
US stocks hit new highs on Monday after investors received a positive signal from the House of Representatives, whose majority voted to increase budgetary aid to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 204 points, or 0.68%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.87% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.74%.
On December 20, after seven months of long negotiations, both houses of Congress approved the government funding budget and the second bill, CARES 2, with a $ 900 billion package of measures to stimulate the economy in the face of recession and pandemic. At the same time, funding under the previous CARES law of $ 2 trillion in aid to the economy, passed at the end of March, was completed last week.
President Donald Trump initially refused to sign the CARES 2 bill, pointing out the need to increase aid to the public from $ 600 to $ 2,000 and eliminate “waste” in other items of expenditure.
However, due to the risk of a government lockdown (suspension of government funding), Trump signed the current CARES 2 bill on Sunday, but vetoed a massive $ 740 billion defense bill.
Delaying the president’s approval of CARES 2 will temporarily deprive unemployed Americans of some of their benefits and additional benefits.
The House of Representatives supported the increase in payments to $ 2,000, approving the changes, but their adoption also requires approval from the upper house of Congress – the Senate. The House of Representatives also voted to overturn the president’s veto of the National Defense Act.
The protracted process of passing the CARES 2 bailout bill was due to differences between Democrats (House majority) and Republicans (Senate majority) over the amount of aid. Democrats pushed for more budget funding, while most Republicans pointed to budget deficits and rejected the proposed $ 1,200 payment for Americans affected by the pandemic.
In a vote in the House of Representatives on Monday, 130 Republicans, two independents and two Democrats, opposed the increased payments.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to increase pressure on his party to support the increased payout at Tuesday’s Senate meeting.
“To refuse it would be to deny the economic problems people face and again deprive them of the help they need,” she said Monday.
At least one Senate Republican, Marco Rubio of Florida, said he would support larger payments.
“I share the concerns of many of my colleagues about the long-term implications of additional spending, but we cannot ignore the fact that millions of working-class families across the country are still in dire need of help,” he said in a statement Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday hailed Trump’s decision to pass CARES 2 at year-end, but did not mention any plans to vote on the larger payouts. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would push for a vote.
After the House of Representatives approved the amendment to the bill, the budget amounted to $ 2.3 trillion, of which $ 1.4 trillion. directed to funding government agencies and $ 892 million in assistance in connection with COVID-19.
Senator Bernie Sanders, vice president, said on Monday that he would postpone Senate plans to overturn Trump’s veto on the National Defense Act this week unless the upper house votes for larger payments.
“Let me be clear: unless Senator McConnell agrees to vote for or against to give the workers of our nation a direct $ 2,000 payout, Congress will not go home on New Year’s Eve. Let’s do our job, ”he said in a statement.