KEY POINTS

  • Biden called for $2,000 stimulus checks
  • The incoming president said $600 payments are 'not enough' for rent and food
  • The Biden administration is expected to introduce a multitrillion-dollar relief bill in the coming weeks

President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday called for the distribution of $2,000 stimulus checks, while millions of Americans are already receiving the round of payments that were signed off on last week. 

The incoming president doesn't think the current payments of $600 are enough to help Americans afford their necessities, and referred to them simply as a “down payment.”

“$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “We need $2,000 stimulus checks.”

On Monday last week, Biden promised to push out $2,000 checks “immediately” if both Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock win the Senate runoffs in Georgia and give Democrats control over the House and Senate. 

"If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people who are struggling right now. And if you send (Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler) back to Washington, those checks will never get there,” President-elect Biden said

Biden on Friday said he is pulling together a multitrillion-dollar economic relief package that would include a boost to stimulus payments and increase the amount of $2,000. The package would also include an extension of unemployment insurance and rent forbearance. 

The president-elect aims to move his proposal to a vote as quickly as possible. However, it may be impossible to introduce the legislation until Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in on Jan. 20 and until Ossof and Warnock take their seats on Jan. 22. 

The Biden administration would likely need the vote of every Democrat to pass the proposal through the new Congress. If the proposal passes,   Americans probably wouldn't see the stimulus checks until February, at the earliest

While many, including Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, have publicly supported the bill, some Democratic lawmakers, such as Sen. Joe Machin of West Virginia, are skeptical about the benefits of $2,000 checks. 

“I don’t know where in the hell $2,000 came from. I swear to God I don’t. That’s another $400 billion dollars,” Machin told The Washington Post. “If they can direct money and they say, ‘This will help stimulate the economy,’ hell yeah I’m for it. But basically right now, you better get them vaccinated.” US President-elect Joe Biden will face an added challenge on the global stage after a mob attack on the Capitol by his predecessor Donald Trump's supporters US President-elect Joe Biden will face an added challenge on the global stage after a mob attack on the Capitol by his predecessor Donald Trump's supporters Photo: AFP / JIM WATSON