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Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

House lawmakers are calling for $1,000 checks to all Americans so they can cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus, as Democratic progressives use a rare moment of unity to expand their support from moderates.

Driving the news: Amid signs Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans could agree to an end-of-year COVID-19 aid bill with some level of cash stimulus, Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.) have filed bipartisan legislation that additional members from both parties would join.

Rep. Ilhan Omar is behind a letter to House and Senate leadership signed so far by nearly 60 Democrats — including moderates such as Reps. Jim Cooper and Tim Ryan — that presses for cash payments to provide some immediate relief.

  • Her letter comes the same day Sen. Bernie Sanders circulated his own letter, asking colleagues to join him in demanding $1,200 relief checks.
  • Omar complained during an interview with Axios about children going hungry and families being thrown out on the street as an eviction moratorium is set to expire.
  • “I represent the third poorest congressional district in the country," Rep. Rashida Tlaib told Axios last week. "Direct cash payments stimulus checks is something that our residents know will make the biggest impact."

Go deeper

Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.