Georgia’s U.S. senators Loeffler and Perdue warm to idea of $2,000 checks

    Georgia's Republican U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue both announced Tuesday they back sending $2,000 checks to many Americans . The two senators are campaigning in tandem on many issues heading into a Jan. runoff election. Ross Williams/Georgia Recorder

    Georgia’s two Republican U.S. senators say they back a $2,000 stimulus check for most Americans that President Donald Trump pressed for after Congress approved a much smaller payment last week.

    Both Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue, who are locked in tough election battles, tweeted Tuesday that they would support tripling the pandemic relief payments. A few other GOP senators, such as Marco Rubio of Florida, have also voiced their support for the larger checks, but most of the chamber’s Republicans remain opposed.

    Loeffler and Perdue’s public statements of support for the $2,000 payments were met with derision from their Democratic opponents, Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who support the higher payments and who accused the sitting senators of pulling a 180-degree reversal a week before the election.

    “(Perdue) hasn’t had a change of heart — he’s exclusively focused on his own political survival,” Ossoff said in a statement. “Georgians deserve a Senator who will always look out for them, not just when it’s politically convenient.”

    Congress approved a wide-ranging and long-awaited $900 billion coronavirus relief bill last week that included the $600 payment, but Trump panned the proposal, calling it a “disgrace” and pushing for $2,000 payments.

    The House then seized on Trump’s comments and quickly passed a bill Monday that would increase the payments to $2,000.

    But it’s yet to be seen whether the proposal can overcome opposition from Senate Republicans, who on Tuesday blocked a push by Democrats for an immediate vote on approving $2,000 checks. During earlier negotiations over additional pandemic relief measures, the GOP majority had balked at repeating the $1,200 payments sent this spring when unemployment rolls surged nationally.

    On the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell noted Trump’s calls not only for the larger checks but also for action on two other matters: a repeal of liability protections for social-media companies, and an investigation into the integrity of the November election.

    “Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together,” he said. “This week, the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus.”

    Jill Nolin
    Jill Nolin has spent nearly 15 years reporting on state and local government in four states, focusing on policy and political stories and tracking public spending. She has spent the last five years chasing stories in the halls of Georgia’s Gold Dome, earning recognition for her work showing the impact of rising opioid addiction on the state’s rural communities. She is a graduate of Troy University.