House Republicans blocked legislation Thursday that would have sent $2,000 in direct payments to Americans, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
House Democratic and Republican leaders met early Thursday morning in a pro forma session and held a unanimous consent vote on the standalone direct payments proposal, according to CNBC. Republican leadership voted the measure down, sinking the effort, which required all lawmakers present to unanimously vote in favor for it to pass.
“Today, on Christmas Eve morning, House Republicans cruelly deprived the American people of the $2,000 that the President agreed to support,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction.”
Pelosi said during a press conference that the House would hold a recorded roll call vote on the standalone measure Monday, Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram reported.
Virginia Republican Rep. Rob Wittman attempted to get the House to vote on reconsidering the much-criticized foreign aid included in the omnibus bill Congress passed Monday night, according to CNBC. Democrats blocked that proposal.
“Speaker Pelosi tried to use the American people as leverage to make coronavirus relief contingent on government funding – which includes billions of foreign aid at a time when there are urgent needs at home,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement Wednesday night.
A coronavirus stimulus relief bill hangs in the balance after President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he wouldn’t sign the bill Congress passed. Trump criticized both the $600 direct payment, saying they were too small, and the foreign aid, saying it was wasteful.
“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It was not their fault,” Trump said.