Elizabeth Warren Asks McConnell If His Caucus Has 'The Heart' To Provide $2,000 Checks

Following President Donald Trump's unexpected call for $2,000 stimulus checks, Democrat Elizabeth Warren is asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell if his caucus has what it takes to get it done.

"I'm 100% on board with $2000 survival checks for struggling families," the Massachusetts Senator tweeted on Wednesday morning. "House and Senate Dems are united on this. What do you say, @SenateMajLdr McConnell? Does your caucus have the heart to give the American people the relief they've needed for months?"

Congress finally reached a deal earlier this week on a second round of coronavirus legislation, nearly nine months after lawmakers passed the historic $2 trillion CARES Act at the end of March. The second package was held up as negotiations stalled between Democrats and Republicans over the size and scope of the aid.

The $900 billion bill includes extended unemployment benefits, additional funding for small businesses and a second stimulus check of $600 for single Americans making $75,000 or less. A family of four can expect to receive $2,400 under the bill. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Americans could start receiving stimulus payments as early as next week.

But Trump threw a wrench into the plan when he released a video online calling the stimulus package "a disgrace" and indicated he may not sign the legislation, which is currently on his desk pending approval.

Trump called on Congress to increase the "ridiculously low" $600 direct payments to $2,000—a suggestion quickly celebrated by Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats were "ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let's do it!" Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted that she and Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) have the amendment Trump requested "ready to go."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also directly appealed to McConnell to get the idea passed, tweeting to the top Republican: "I'm in. Whaddya say, Mitch? Let's not get bogged down with ideological offsets and unrelated items and just DO THIS! The American people deserve it."

Newsweek reached out to McConnell's office for comment on Warren's statement and whether he supports $2,000 checks, but did not receive a response prior to publication.

There was a bipartisan effort to give larger stimulus checks to Americans, led by Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Josh Hawley (R-MO). The two lawmakers introduced an amendment to provide another round of direct cash payments: $1,200 for individuals who make $75,000 or less annually, $2,400 to couples who make $150,000 or less and $500 to non-dependent children.

Both Hawley and Sanders supported Trump's call for $2,000 direct payments. The Republican tweeted, "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."

Elizabeth Warren news conference 10/20/2020
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill on October 20, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Warren asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday morning if his caucus had "the heart" to provide $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Stefani Reynolds/Getty

The only direct payment Americans have received throughout the pandemic is up to $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple, plus $500 per child under 17.

Democrats on Capitol Hill attempted to send more $1,200 payments through the HEROES Act passed by the House of Representatives in May. But the bill stalled in the Republican Senate, which later failed to pass its own $500 billion stimulus package which excluded checks.

The $900 billion stimulus deal was only reached after months of stalemate and by combining it with a larger $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund operations for the upcoming year. If Trump vetoes the bill and there are not enough votes in Congress to override him, it could cause a delay or even a federal government shutdown.

"I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package, and maybe that administration will be me," the president said in his video.