02:16 GMT20 January 2021
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    House Republicans blocked an attempt by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democrats to approve $2,000 stimulus payments demanded by US President Donald Trump, who called Congress' $900 billion relief bill a "disgrace."

    Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), told reporters on Thursday that he "has no idea what [Trump] plans to do" regarding coronvirus relief, but it is unlikely that GOP lawmakers would agree to the $2,000 stimulus checks demanded by the US president.  

    "It took us a long time to get to where we are. I think reopening that bill would be a mistake," remarked Blunt, the No. 4 member of Republican leadership, as reported by The Hill.

    "The best way out of this is for the president to sign the bill, and I still hope that's what he decides."

    Blunt's comments come as House Republicans rejected House Democrats' efforts to pass a bill that would raise the provided COVID relief stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 per eligible individual. 

    After months of negotiations, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle believed the US president was on board with Congress' combined $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and omnibus spending package. 

    “House and Senate Democrats have repeatedly fought for bigger checks for the American people, which House and Senate Republicans have repeatedly rejected – first, during our negotiations when they said that they would not go above $600 and now, with this act of callousness on the Floor,” Pelosi said Thursday.

    Trump's last-minute call for the checks to amount to $2,000 has some lawmakers questioning the president's intent. 

    “[Trump] doesn't give a damn about people,” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) told reporters, Politico reported. “He sowed more fear. He threw kerosene on a fire.”

    What further complicates the issue is the fact that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was working with Congress on the $2.3 trillion package, which led lawmakers to believe Trump would approve it. 

    "We are considering our options and what steps we will take. And I will tell you that there are continuing discussions going on between the Speaker and the secretary of the Treasury and the administration," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said during a Thursday morning news conference, The Hill reported

    "He is the person with whom we have to talk," Hoyer said of the US president. 

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    Tags:
    Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, US Congress, Donald Trump, stimulus
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