Georgia’s GOP senators back $2,000 stimulus checks ahead of runoff – Axios

Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Tuesday both came out in favor of increasing direct payments in the coronavirus relief package from $600 to $2,000 per person.

Why it matters: The two Republican senators are on the ballot in a pair of runoffs in Georgia next week that will determine control of the Senate.

  • Their Democratic opponents, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, had previously called on them to support the $2,000 payments.
  • President Trump’s push to increase the size of the checks has put him at odds with Senate GOP leadership, risking dividing the party.

What they’re saying: “I’ve stood by the president 100% of the time. I’m proud to do that and I’ve said, absolutely, we need to get relief to Americans now and I will support that,” Loeffler said in an interview on Fox News when asked if she will support the measure.

  • Perdue later tweeted: “President @realDonaldTrump is right — I support this push for $2,000 in direct relief for the American people.”

The big picture: The comments come one day after the House voted to increase stimulus payments, with 44 Republicans joining Democrats to pass the bill.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not yet indicated whether he will bring the measure to the Senate floor for a vote.
  • Amid pressure from Trump, several GOP senators — including Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), as well as co-sponsor Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) — have said they will vote in favor of the $2,000 checks.
  • If all Senate Democrats support the measure, which Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated they will, just seven more Republicans are needed to reach the 60-vote threshold for the bill to pass.

Go deeper: Senate tide begins to shift toward $2,000 checks after Trump’s push

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