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Attempt to Increase COVID Relief Checks Fails in House

House Democrats side with Trump on bigger amount, but Republicans block measure
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2020 10:05 AM CST

(Newser) – So how much will Americans get in COVID relief payments, and when will they get it? Check back Monday. House Democrats and Republicans engaged in a quick battle of legislative maneuvers on Thursday that effectively punted the issue into next week. The recap: Earlier this week, Congress passed legislation that would result in most Americans getting $600, but President Trump suggested he might veto unless the amount was raised to $2,000. On Thursday morning, House Democrats attempted to call Trump's bluff, as the New York Times puts it, and increase the figure to $2,000 through "unanimous consent." Republicans quickly blocked the maneuver, per the Washington Post.

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At the same time, House Republicans attempted to use the "unanimous consent" process to get something they wanted—a reduction in foreign aid in the overall funding package—but Democrats blocked that, per the Wall Street Journal. All of this played out in roughly 12 minutes on the House floor, the AP notes. The relief measure is expected to be revisited in the House on Monday as key deadlines draw near: Unemployment benefits for about 14 million Americans expire on Saturday, eviction protections run out at month's end, and the government would shut down at midnight Monday without a funding deal. (Read more COVID relief bill stories.)

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