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You don’t need a sports blog to tell you that this has been a wild year. Imagine if you were told one year ago today that the NCAA Tournament would get canceled, there would be no fans in the stands during baseball season until the World Series, and that in major cities like New York and Chicago, restaurants would be shut down for months at a time. It would have been inconceivable.
This brings us to a place where I find myself in agreement with Representative Ilhan Omar when she says to get the $2,000 survival checks done quickly, without haggling over everything else in the bill:
We need to send a clean bill with just $2,000 survival checks and a separate spending/covid relief bill.
Negotiating everything into one bill is how we got here, since Trump wants to sign a bill with survival checks, let’s send one to his desk right away.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 23, 2020
As Representative Omar alludes to in the tweet, on Tuesday President Trump went through hundreds of billions of dollars of pork in the federal stimulus bill and asked Congress to amend the bill to go from $600 per person to $2,000, and “get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items” from the bill. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi agreed, at least with the $2,000 part:
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020
This is going to put Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in a tough spot. Senators Josh Hawley and Bernie Sanders had been pushing for $1,200 a person but got blocked by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. It’s an especially tough spot given the situation with the looming runoff elections for two senate seats in Georgia.
Hopefully, Republicans and Democrats in Congress can work together quickly to get a deal done. Honestly, Ilhan Omar’s plan doesn’t sound like a bad idea: Put everything else to the side and get immediate relief to the American people.