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Biden: If we win the Georgia runoff elections, you get $2,000

Senate control to be decided on Tuesday, and if Democrats win, they could push through $2,000 payments

Updated: January 5, 2021 - 3:08pm

Joe Biden had a simple message for Georgian voters: Cast your ballots Tuesday for the Democratic candidates, get $2,000.

Biden traveled to Georgia on Monday to make a last-ditch effort to get two Democrats elected to the Senate.

Both races went into runoffs after the Nov. 3 election because no candidate got the required 50% of the vote. The Senate is currently controlled by Republicans, 50-48. But if both Democrats win in Georgia, their party would control the chamber because likely incoming Vice President Kamala Harris would be the tiebreaker vote.

In the two races, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, a pastor, are facing off against incumbent Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

"If you send Jon and the reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door," Biden said Monday while campaigning in Atlanta on the eve of the election. "And if you send Senator Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It's just that simple. The power is literally in your hands."

"The debate over $2,000 isn't some abstract debate in Washington, it's about real lives. Your lives, the lives of good, hardworking Americans," Biden continued. "If you're like millions of Americans all across this country, you need the money, you need the help, and you need it now."

However, Loeffler and Perdue each have backed President Trump's repeated calls to increase the size of the direct cash payment included in the latest COVID-19 relief package to $2,000 from $600.

At least five other GOP senators also have supported the increased payments, but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell refused to call a vote for a House-passed bill.

Just after Christmas, in a 275-134 vote with 44 Republicans voting in favor, the House passed a bill to provide as much as $2,000 to Americans. Those making up to $75,000 would receive direct payments of $2,000, and – unlike the $600 payments –adult dependents, such as college students, disabled adults and elderly relatives, would also be eligible for the $2,000 payments.

After McConnell refused to call up the bill for a Senate vote, he offered his own version that also called for the repeal of Section 230, which grants liability protection to social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, and would create a congressional committee to investigate the integrity of U.S. elections. Democrats opposed the bill, thus killing it.

In an odd twist, Democrats in the House applauded Trump’s support for $2,000 direct payments.

"The president of the United States has put this forth as something that he wants to see," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "I hope that that view will be shared by the Republicans in the Senate."

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