$2,000 Stimulus Checks Face 'Uphill Battle' in Senate: Rep. Ro Khanna

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) admitted that the attempt to boost stimulus checks to a $2,000 maximum is unlikely to pass through the Republican-controlled Senate despite the endorsement of President Donald Trump.

The president signed legislation including payments of up to $600 for eligible individuals after refusing to do so for several days, citing his desire for $2,000 checks as a central reason.

Khanna has backed the increased payments along with other progressives and Democrats more broadly. The proposal will be put forward to the House floor on Monday.

But he told Democracy Now: "I think it's an uphill battle to get it passed in the Senate,"

Khanna said that he thinks it will take "Trump not just tweeting out but convincing Republican senators to support it," or said perhaps it will take the next administration making $2,000 payments a priority down the line for such a measure to get through.

While the Democratic-majority House is expected to pass the higher checks, skeptical Republicans in the Senate may block them.

Trump has repeated his calls for a $2,000 maximum and reiterated his desire for fatter checks in his statement on Sunday after signing the COVID relief and government funding legislation.

Democrats have joined Trump in the push for more money having previously argued for stimulus checks to be higher. Many were disappointed with the $600 that ended up in the relief bill.

Khanna suggested the $2,000 amount should have been pushed for more strongly by Democrats earlier this year. "We were not sufficiently bold," he told Democracy Now.

The HEROES Act, passed by the House earlier this year, contained $1,200 stimulus checks.

Republican lawmakers have been hesitant about higher checks, citing the cost of relief to public finances, which may hinder the latest proposal.

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Khanna's office for further comment.

Not all Republicans are opposed to higher checks. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted last week: "Donald Trump is right—workers deserve much more than $600, as I have repeatedly said & fought for. And there's obviously plenty of $$ to do it—look at what Congress threw away on corporate giveaways & foreign buyouts. Let's get it done."

The stimulus discussions come as the U.S. has seen more than 19 million confirmed cases throughout the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

There have been more than 333,000 COVID-19 deaths across the nation.

rep ro khanna at lisbon summit
Ro Khanna, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, at Center Stage of Web Summit in Altice Arena on November 06, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. He has spoken of his desire for the stimulus payments to be increased though said he expects such a move will struggle to pass the Senate. Horacio Villalobos/Corbis via Getty Images