ATLANTA (NEXSTAR) – While pitching to Georgia voters on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden said if Democrats won those races, $2,000 stimulus checks would likely be on their way to most Americans.
As of Wednesday morning, it looks like the Democratic candidates will pull through. The big question: Will checks soon follow?
Democrat Raphael Warnock has been declared the winner in one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs, becoming the first Black senator in the state’s history.
The focus now shifts to the second race between the GOP’s David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. Early Wednesday, Ossoff claimed victory, but the candidates were locked in a tight race and it was too early to call a winner. The races will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.
“If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door,” Biden said Monday in Atlanta. “And if you send Sens. Perdue and [Kelly] Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It’s just that simple. The power is literally in your hands.”
The Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been the biggest hurdle for getting larger direct payments passed.
It’s worth noting that Georgia Republican candidates Loeffler and Perdue supported President Donald Trump’s eleventh-hour proposal to increase the size of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. The $600 bipartisan compromise had been considered a done deal and had won sweeping approval in the House and Senate after the White House assured GOP leaders that Trump supported it. After the $2,000 proposal was blocked in the GOP-controlled Senate, Trump signed the deal with smaller checks.
If Democrats get control of the Senate — along with the House and presidency, it’s possible an additional round of stimulus could be approved in the next few weeks.
Prior to the Georgia race, Biden noted he’d push for new direct payments but wouldn’t discuss a definitive amount. He had referred to this most recent $600 check as a “down payment”