Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer: First priority in new Senate is $2,000 stimulus checks

Schumer wears a face mask and speaks to reporters
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) talks with reporters in the Capitol on Jan. 3. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that one of his first priorities in the 117th Senate will be to pass legislation that would send $2000 stimulus payments.

Why it matters: If Jon Ossoff holds his lead over former Sen. Perdue, Schumer is set to become the next majority leader with the power to steer legislation. The election has not yet been called.

What he's saying: "One of the first things that I want to do when our new senators are seated, is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families," he said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

  • Schumer said that he looked forward to sitting down with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but that they had to wait until races are certified. "We have a lot of things to discuss," he said.
  • Both Ossoff and Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock ran on boosting aid to Americans.

The big picture: Sending increased direct stimulus payments to Americans was one of the major points of contention between Democrats and Republicans as negotiations stalled for months last year, amid rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

  • The latest coronavirus relief package provided $600 direct payments to Americans, despite President Trump and Democrats pushing for the increased amount of $2,000.
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