WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden supports $2,000 COVID stimulus checks.
Biden said in a social media statement on Jan. 10 that he backed bigger per person relief checks than the $600 approved by Congress in December.
“$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks,” Biden said in the statement.
President Donald Trump also backs the bigger checks. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill for $2,000 checks but it was blocked in the U.S. Senate by Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell, R-Ky., and opposed by some other Republicans — including U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn.
McConnell called the $2,000 checks “socialism for the rich”. U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, voted against the House bill raising COVID relief to $2,000 saying he wanted other spending to be cut and citing worries the checks might also go to non-citizens.
Victories in two Georgia U.S. Senate run-off races will give Democrats control of the upper chamber. That could ease the way for a renewed effort to pass the $2,000 checks after Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Maryland Democrats, also support the bigger COVID relief checks.
The federal relief is geared toward those making $75,000 or less annually.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is also pushing for $2,000 COVID checks at the state level for those making $50,000 or less per year or couples making $100,000 or less.