PROSPECT OF $2,000 STIMULUS CHECKS FUELED SENATE OUTCOME IN GEORGIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATLANTA, GA — On Sunday, President-elect Joe Biden, speaking from Atlanta, joined majorities in the House and Senate, and President Trump, in calling for $2,000 checks to be sent to every American as part of a COVID-19 economic relief deal.
In a speech, President-elect Biden implied he would sign a bill to increase the size of the previously-passed $600 checks to $2,000, if such a bill could be passed out of the U.S. Senate.
Last week, a standalone bill to do just that passed the US House with a clear, bipartisan, two-thirds majority. In the Senate, the bill had the declared support of a bipartisan majority of the chamber, but did not receive a vote.
In Georgia, 78% of voters said they “support $2,000 checks,” according to research by Data for Progress. This was the foremost issue for thousands of voters, regardless of political persuasion. Support for this issue was especially strong in Georgia, while 65% of voters support the $2,000 checks monthly nationwide.
This all unfolded in the final weeks of the hotly contested dual Senate runoff elections in Georgia, on which the Senate majority depended.
“I talked to a number of Democratic organizers in Georgia who said, this is all they talked about at the door,” said Curran Ford, an activist in Savannah, Georgia. “The amount of times I hear, from voters, ‘what is this guy gonna do for me?’ while the $600 check is literally in the mail. Talking about a second check breached the walls of skepticism for even the most traditionally cynical voters.”
Georgians finished voting on Tuesday, and Reverend Warnock has been declared the winner over Senator Kelly Loeffler (R), while Jon Ossoff is leading Senator David Perdue (R) with few votes left to count and is seen as a likely favorite.
Former congressional candidate Pam Keith, who helped organize on behalf of the Democratic Senate candidates in Savannah, said it was about recognizing the needs of voters. “It’s about being responsive,” she said. “There is nothing that the people need more right now than financial assistance. So making it plain made all the difference. It was a message that was easily understood, easy to share, and easy to respond to. #GimmeMyMoney said it all.”
The emergence of $2,000 checks as a wedge issue in Washington and in the Georgia Senate races coincided with Reverend Warnock and Mr. Ossoff seeming to gain ground in polling in the final weeks of the campaign. Senators Perdue and Loeffler both supported President Trump’s push for $2,000 checks, but voters recognized their election would preserve the Majority Leader status of Mr. McConnell, who would not let the issue reach a standalone vote on the Senate floor.
President-elect Biden recognized the overwhelming support for direct cash relief in his final campaign speech of the 2020 cycle, Sunday in Atlanta.
“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington on the $2,000 stimulus check,” Biden said in a campaign speech of Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff. “If you send Sen. Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It’s just that simple. The power is literally in your hands.” he said.
Humanity Forward will continue to work with a growing bipartisan coalition in the new Congress to pass direct cash relief for all Americans struggling to support themselves and their families.
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