Speed Reads

coronavirus relief

Republican senators reportedly start wavering on $2,000 stimulus checks

The Senate faces an "uphill battle" in passing legislation that would increase direct COVID-19 relief payments for individuals from $600 to $2,000, but Republican lawmakers are facing more pressure to back the measure, Axios reports.

The House on Monday narrowly reached the two-thirds majority needed to pass the proposal — which is separate from a larger $900 billion relief bill approved by both chambers of Congress last week and subsequently signed into law by President Trump after a few days deliberation Sunday — but it's unclear if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will even let it come to a vote in the upper chamber.

Its passage similarly requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate, and while most Democrats are seemingly on board, many Republicans have appeared more hesitant because of concerns about mounting debt. But with Trump and their constituents calling for larger checks, there's a chance enough GOP senators will wind up backing the proposal, Republican sources told Axios. One source said if McConnell does bring the measure to the floor, "it might get 60" votes.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) made it clear Monday night he will vote for the increase despite concerns about the debt, so a handful of like-minded colleagues would turn the tide. Read more at Axios. Tim O'Donnell