The House on Monday passed a bill replacing the $600 stimulus checks in the newly enacted virus relief bill with $2,000 payments, as Democrats and moderate Republicans voted in favor of a proposal backed by President Donald Trump.
The bill cleared the chamber on a 275 to 134 vote, reaching the two-thirds majority needed for the expedited procedure used Monday.
It now heads to the Senate where it will create a political dilemma for Republicans. Many of them previously opposed bigger stimulus payments than the $600 in the existing law, in part over concerns about the price tag. Bumping them to $2,000 would cost roughly $464 billion. But Trump’s stamp of approval still has sway with GOP voters.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t said whether the Senate would take up the House bill or attempt to vote on a different one that would also increase direct payments. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is urging Republicans to bring up a clean bill, like the House measure, to increase the payments to $2,000.