The House of Representatives passed a bill last night to increase the amount of direct stimulus payments to $2,000 for most Americans, up from the $600 thrown into the coronavirus stimulus bill at the last minute. It's unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate, because Mitch McConnell is 1) an asshole 2) probably worried that just enough Republicans might go ahead and vote to pass the larger individual payments, which Donald Trump had demanded as an absolute necessity last week. You know, before Trump signed the stimmy bill with the smaller checks Sunday night, in the nick of time for avoiding a government shutdown but just late enough to make millions of Americans miss an unemployment check, just to be a dick about it.

We see Lindsey Graham apparently talked Trump into signing that bill, using a golf trip to convince the Great Leader he'd look very strong by adding a batshit signing statement telling Congress it had to pass the larger payments, remove a lot of foreign aid Trump's own administration had put in the omnibus spending bill, and something something social media, something something election fraud. See, Trump's fucking around on the golf course is good for America (and the signing statement didn't actually change anything).


The House measure needed a two-thirds majority to pass under a suspension of House rules, which it got, just barely, passing on a 275-134 vote. 44 Republicans voted for it, apparently thinking they would keep the Great Man happy with that show of loyalty (and possibly some of them voted for it in order to help people, oh we kid). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged Trump to call on his party to follow through on his demand for the $2,000 individual payments; in a statement Sunday evening after Trump signed the smaller stimulus, she said,

The President must immediately call on congressional Republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000. [...]

Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need.

And remember R's, if you vote against this, you'll be voting against what Donald Trump wants for the good of America.

We know they don't give two shits. Pelosi knows they don't give two shits. But this is another opportunity to get Republicans' non-two-shits-giving on the record.

In a bit of pointed acronyming, the bill was named the "Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help" Act. (CASH, get it? No, you won't, because of Republicans.) We'd be in favor of a rider adding large cash fines on legislators giving bills cutesy names.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer took a similar approach to Pelosi's in his statement last night on the House vote, pointing out that

Every Senate Democrat is for this much-needed increase in emergency financial relief, which can be approved tomorrow if no Republican blocks it — there is no good reason for Senate Republicans to stand in the way.

And for good measure, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) promised that until the larger stimmy payments get a vote in the Senate, he'll block the Senate's vote to override Trump's veto of the great big defense bill, because if we can afford $740 billion in guns, we can certainly afford more help to Americans. He was joined by Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) last night, although it's not entirely clear whether that's going to include a stand-up-and-talk-for-hours filibuster. If so, we'll do a livestream!

It's not clear whether the larger checks can get the 12 Republican votes that would be needed to pass in the Senate; Sens. Josh Hawley (Missouri) and Marco Rubio (Florida) have both said they support the $2,000 payments. And just as we were wrapping this little article up, both of the Republicans who want Georgians to reelect them to the Senate in a week, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, suddenly came out in favor of the $2,000 stimulus payments they were calling socialism until like five minutes ago.

While that may sound like there's a chance the larger stimmy could pass, we're inclined to think it means McConnell may have told them to go ahead and support the increase, since he won't let it see daylight. Call us cynical if you must.

Also too, while we expect austerity nonsense from Republicans, let's all take a moment to thank Crom that Rep. Dan Lipinski ("D" - Illinois) was turfed out in his primary this year. Look at this jerk and his "we shouldn't do national debt to directly help Americans" bullshit:

Later in the thread, Lipinski did say this is no time for austerity and that deficit spending is OK in a recession, but he just had to nope out on this bill because OMG the debt being passed on to "future generations." Fuck you, Dan Lipinski, and we're glad that Marie Newman, the winner of the Dem primary and of November's election, will be replacing you.

Expect to see a lot of Republican tears about the $435 billion that the larger stimulus would cost. We agree. Terrible. Guess we'll just have to repeal the 2017 Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads to pay for it.

[CNN / Axios/ NYT / Politico / Mass Live]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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