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Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Tuesday both came out in favor of increasing direct payments in the coronavirus relief package from $600 to $2,000 per person.

Why it matters: The two Republican senators are on the ballot in a pair of runoffs in Georgia next week that will determine control of the Senate.

  • Their Democratic opponents, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, had previously called on them to support the $2,000 payments.
  • President Trump's push to increase the size of the checks has put him at odds with Senate GOP leadership, risking dividing the party.

What they're saying: "I've stood by the president 100% of the time. I'm proud to do that and I've said, absolutely, we need to get relief to Americans now and I will support that," Loeffler said in an interview on Fox News when asked if she will support the measure.

  • Perdue later tweeted: "President @realDonaldTrump is right — I support this push for $2,000 in direct relief for the American people."

The big picture: The comments come one day after the House voted to increase stimulus payments, with 44 Republicans joining Democrats to pass the bill.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not yet indicated whether he will bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote.
  • Amid pressure from Trump, several GOP senators — including Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), as well as co-sponsor Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) — have said they will vote in favor of the $2,000 checks.
  • If all Senate Democrats support the measure, which Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated they will, just seven more Republicans are needed to reach the 60-vote threshold for the bill to pass.

Go deeper: Senate tide begins to shift toward $2,000 checks after Trump's push

Go deeper

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is plugging Hawley's ideological bona fides and backfilling lost corporate cash with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate him as he weighs reelection or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.