What Joe Biden Has Said About a $2,000 Stimulus Check for Americans

President-elect Joe Biden, who has promised to deliver more economic relief to Americans in the early days of his administration, has endorsed sending $2,000 stimulus checks to qualifying individuals and households.

The president-elect said he supported $2,000 instead of $600 payments following a speech he gave Monday about the national security and foreign policy challenges his administration will face. As he walked off the stage, Biden was asked by a reporter if he supported the larger check amount and replied "yes."

Biden had applauded Congress after lawmakers finally reached bipartisan agreement on a $900 billion relief package on December 21. In a statement, he said the bill would provide "critical temporary support for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, support to help keep families in their homes and food on their table; and direct payments to help Americans make it through a dark winter."

But he was clear that he viewed the package as a temporary fix, calling it a "down payment," and pledged that his administration would take additional steps to provide relief amid the ongoing health crisis and resulting economic downturn.

"Congress did its job this week," Biden said at a news conference on December 22, "and I can and I must ask them to do it again next year."

The president-elect has repeatedly advocated for a stimulus check higher than the $600 allotted in the new legislation. During negotiations over the package, which at one point didn't include any form of direct payment at all, Biden said he thought it would be better if it included $1,200 checks.

But the recent legislative battle over $2,000 direct payments didn't begin until President Donald Trump expressed his disappointment about the "ridiculously low" $600 benefit in the package. He urged lawmakers to boost the benefit and threatened to not sign the bill, although he eventually did so on Sunday.

Since then, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the CASH Act, which provides for $2,000 payments. The legislation now sits in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Joe Biden delivers remarks 12/29/2020
President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on the coronavirus pandemic on December 29 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden has voiced support for $2,000 stimulus checks for qualifying Americans. Mark Makela/Getty

Senator Bernie Sanders attempted to force a vote on the House's bill on Tuesday, but McConnell blocked the motion. McConnell also objected to an attempt by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to approve $2,000 checks by unanimous consent.

Then, later that day, McConnell introduced his own bill tying $2,000 stimulus checks to other measures pertaining to internet companies' liability shield and a commission to study the integrity of last month's election, both of which were demanded by Trump. The other measures have been opposed by Democrats.

"The leaders of our country—President Trump, President-elect Biden, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker of the House Pelosi—are all in agreement," Sanders said on the Senate floor. "We have got to raise that direct payment to $2,000. So that is where we are right now in this historic moment."

Newsweek reached out to Biden's transition team for additional comment on $2,000 stimulus checks but did not receive a response in time for publication.