Georgia Senate Runoff Dems Attack GOP Incumbents for Opposing $2,000 Stimulus Checks

Georgia Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock criticized their Republican opponents, Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, on Monday for not expressing support for $2,000 stimulus checks.

Trump indicated on Wednesday that he would not sign the $900 billion stimulus bill if the amount of direct payments were not increased from $600 to $2,000. Loeffler and Perdue had used the passage of the bill as a campaign talking point. Despite his continued attacks on the "measly $600" stimulus checks, Trump signed the bill as written on Sunday. The House passed the $2,000 stimulus checks on Monday. Georgia's Democratic senate candidates have pointed out the reluctance of their Republican opponents in supporting the higher payments.

Ossoff, who is running against Perdue, tweeted Monday that Perdue had never been in support of direct payments. "David Perdue didn't even want the first round of stimulus checks," Ossoff wrote in a tweet that featured video footage of Perdue saying, "A direct payment, I really oppose that."

David Perdue didn’t even want the first round of stimulus checks.

— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) December 28, 2020

Warnock, who is expected to run against Loeffler in January, pointed to Loeffler's opposition to fattening stimulus checks in a Monday tweet. "Georgians could have gotten $2,000 relief checks," Warnock wrote. "You're only getting $600—because @KLoeffler refused to fight for more."

Georgians could have gotten $2,000 relief checks. You're only getting $600 — because @KLoeffler refused to fight for more.

— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) December 28, 2020

Asked for comment, Loeffler's office directed Newsweek to tweets detailing Loeffler's reactions to Trump's request for larger direct assistance payments.

".@SenatorLoeffler on Trump's call for $2,000 direct stimulus checks: 'I certainly support redirecting any wasteful spending to be very targeted at families and businesses who have been impacted by this virus through no fault of their own ...' #gapol #gasen" tweeted Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein on Wednesday.

"Asked directly if that meant she would support increasing the direct payments to $2k, Loeffler said: 'I'll certainly look at supporting it if it repurposes wasteful spending toward that, yes.' #gapol #gasen," Bluestein added in a second tweet.

Asked directly if that meant she would support increasing the direct payments to $2k, Loeffler said: “I'll certainly look at supporting it if it repurposes wasteful spending toward that, yes.” #gapol #gasen

— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) December 23, 2020

Perdue and Loeffler lauded Trump's leadership for the passage of the bill in a joint statement on Sunday. "The coronavirus pandemic grinded to a halt the greatest economic turnaround in American history, and Democrats are hellbent on a socialist agenda that prioritizes wasteful, irresponsible spending over the wellbeing of the American people," Loeffler and Perdue said Sunday. Trump is expected to attend a campaign rally on behalf of Loeffler and Perdue on January 4.

Georgia's special elections could decide which party has control over the U.S. Senate. Republicans only need one GOP candidate to win a special election in order to retain majority control of the Senate. If Ossoff and Warnock emerge victorious, then Democrats and Republicans will both hold 50 percent of the Senate. In the case of a deadlock, the tie-breaking vote would fall to Democrat Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

GOP lawmakers largely oppose increasing the amount of stimulus checks. On Thursday, House Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats to pass a standalone bill that would have approved the distribution of the $2,000 checks.

Trump said in a statement that although he would sign the economic stimulus package, which was tied to a larger spending bill, problems still existed within the proposal. "I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill," the president said in a Sunday statement.

"Much more money is coming," he added. "I will never give up my fight for the American people!"

jon ossoff criticizes perdue stimulus checks
Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Jon Ossoff tweeted Monday that his political opponent, Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue, had never been in favor of stimulus checks. Jessica McGowan/Getty