PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Despite President Trump’s signing of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package Sunday, Congressional lawmakers continue to battle over whether the bill goes far enough.
The House of Representatives voted Monday evening to pass the bill to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000. The bill now heads to the Senate.
The amended bill introduced by House Democrats to provide bigger stimulus checks has local support.
“There’s no question that $600 is not enough,” said Rep. Dwight Evans, D-PA 3rd District.
Congressman Evans fully supports the CASH Act, which would increase the $600 stimulus payment to eligible Americans to $2,000.
“It’s long overdue,” Evans said Monday morning, before heading to Washington, D.C. for the vote. “I think we need to stop playing games with people and do what is right and help the people.”
Even if Democrats’ efforts are unsuccessful, Dr. Michael Hayes, assistant professor of public policy and administration at Rutgers University-Camden, said the COVID relief bill will still do a lot of good as is.
“Overall, it’s a good package and should help the economy,” he said.
Hayes said if Congress is willing to spend additional money, those funds could be more impactful to the neediest Americans through other channels.
“More money to state and local governments, because that’s the area where we’re seeing the largest job losses,” Hayes said. “But also targeting the money to households that have lost jobs, and that’s where the unemployment benefits and extending that, and increasing the size of that would do a better job.”
While many would welcome a $2,000 check, Philadelphian Valerie Kennedy said consistent help throughout the pandemic would be much more helpful than a bigger one-time payment.
”They should have an ongoing stimulus until everything clears up, because it’s a lot of people that’s homeless, it’s a lot of people that’s on unemployment, it’s a lot of people right now that they just don’t know what to do,” she said.
CBS News reports that the Treasury Department plans to begin issuing the $600 payments this week. If the amended bill passes, payments for the additional $1,400 would go out at a later date.