Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are praising President Trump for signing the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill with $600 direct payments.
In a joint statement released through Perdue (R-Ga.) late Sunday, he and Loeffler (R-Ga.) applauded the commander-in-chief’s decision to sign the spending package despite not getting his last-minute wish to increase checks from $600 to $2,000 and eliminate billions in foreign aid.
“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, COVID relief is again on its way to the millions of Georgia families and businesses who need it most,” the statement began, going on to tout $47 billion going to the Peach State.
Loeffler and Perdue, who are both fighting for their political survival in runoff races that will decide which party controls the Senate, had spent weeks touting their support for the bipartisan package and $600 checks in campaign ads and stump speeches across the state.
The two had also attacked their respective Democratic opponents for arguing that $600 checks were insufficient.
Their support for the legislation was complicated last week after the president changed his position on the bill, which had been negotiated on his behalf for months by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Last Tuesday, Trump called the bipartisan relief bill a “disgrace” and told congressional lawmakers to amend it and “increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” while suggesting he would torpedo it if the changes weren’t made.
Loeffler and Perdue’s respective Democratic opponents, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, jumped on the change, stating their agreement with the president on $2,000 checks.
In response, Loeffler said she would consider supporting a change to the value of direct payments if it “repurposes wasteful spending.”
The statement from the two Georgia Republicans released Sunday went on to say there is still “a great deal” of work to be done to bring relief to Americans — a possible acknowledgment of the president’s displeasure at the final check value.
“Make no mistake: a great deal of work remains,” the statement continued. “We look forward to continuing to fight alongside the president in his relentless pursuit to keep America great.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also released a statement when Trump signed the legislation in which he thanked the president for avoiding a government shutdown.
“I applaud President Trump’s decision to get hundreds of billions of dollars of crucial COVID-19 relief out the door and into the hands of American families as quickly as possible,” the highest-ranking Senate Republican stated.
“The compromise bill is not perfect, but it will do an enormous amount of good for struggling Kentuckians and Americans across the country who need help now,” his statement continued, also acknowledging that neither party would walk away with everything it wanted.
“I thank the President for signing this relief into law, along with full-year government funding legislation that will continue the rebuilding and modernization of our Armed Forces that his Administration has championed. His leadership has prevented a government shutdown at a time when our nation could not have afforded one.”
The president announced that he had signed the measure on Sunday, but warned that he would ask for millions in dollars of spending to be removed from the bill.
“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” he said.