18:28 GMT03 March 2021
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    Despite continued debate over the coronavirus relief package in the US, the only thing that the former Republican president, Donald Trump, and the incumbent Democrat, Joe Biden, appear to agree on was that the $600 one-time stimulus payments are not enough.

    The Biden administration on Sunday announced that his Cabinet will be sending $1,400 coronavirus stimulus payments in addition to the previous $600 checks, and people took to Twitter to blame him for misleading advertising in his economic plans, launching a hashtag #BidenLied.

    "@POTUS will build on the $600 down payment provided by Congress last year, sending an additional $1,400 to households across America, totaling direct payments to $2,000 per person", The White House tweeted on Sunday, prompting a wave of criticism.

    Users immediately recalled ads that said "Want a $2,000 check?" when urging them to vote Democrat in the Georgia runoff election in early January, apparently meaning they believed they would be receiving the promised sum, and not additional money to $600.

    ​​Other netizens flocked to Twitter threads to cool down those who were outraged, noting that the plan was always to increase from the $600 checks, not to roll out separate $2,000 ones.

    Later, #BidenLied was hijacked by users slamming the critics of the new checks and flooding the hashtag with random pictures of their pets, favourite movie characters or whatever food they have been enjoying recently.

    ​There were two coronavirus relief packages in the United States in 2020, with the first signed by the former president, Donald Trump, in early spring and dubbed the CARES Act. The legislation particularly included $300 billion in one-time direct payments of $1,200 each to individuals, along with billions of dollars poured into other spheres.

    The second package was a lot more problematic for lawmakers in both parties. In late December 2020, Trump signed it into law after legislators spent months negotiating, but even after the signing it prompted a wave of condemnation, particularly due to the $600 stimulus checks it envisaged - a sum dubbed by many, including Trump himself, "ridiculously low".

    Biden and Trump, in a rare agreement, both called for $2,000 checks. At the time, the incoming president said that $600 "is simply not enough" and noted that "we need $2,000 stimulus checks."

    In his "American Rescue Plan", that was presented on 15 January, and included measures to tackle the aftermath of coronavirus pandemic, Biden, among other things, pledged to provide an additional $1,400 that would make $2,000 when combined with the already-issued $600.


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    Twitter, stimulus, coronavirus, COVID-19, Joe Biden, US
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