Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer may have just shot himself in the foot — politically speaking — big time.
The top Senate Democrat made a questionable decision on Thursday by making it clear that he opposes the new plan from the White House calling for sending cash payments directly to Americans.
While speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer said that the proposal wouldn’t help American citizens in the long-run, and argued that continuing with options like expanding unemployment insurance would be more beneficial to help people throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is not the time for small thinking,” he said. “A single 1,000 check would help someone pay their land-lord in March. But what happens after that?”
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday warned of an economic recession as the coronavirus spreads through the country and called for a broader cash payment than Trump’s push for $1,000 checks.
“The coronavirus is slowing our economy to a near standstill and we are almost certainly anticipating a recession,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. He added that expanded unemployment benefits would be a more effective way of helping workers than a $1,000 check from Washington.
After making this speech, Schumer began receiving significant backlash from Democrats across social media, and many have started to use the hashtag #SchumerVsPeople to state their disapproval.
— Bryce Goldberg 🧢 (@Bryce_Goldberg) March 19, 2020
One popular fan-page noted a particular problem for Schumer, saying that it puts supporters of Andrew Yang in a difficult situation, challenging the chances for Democrats in this year’s election.
The #YangGang is now in a very awkward position. @realDonaldTrump is advocating for our top issue, a Universal Basic Income Stimulus, while Democratic leadership is in strong opposition. Not sure how this plays out in November. #PeopleVsSchumer #PeopleVsPelosi
— Andrew Yang Fan Page🧢 (@AndrewYangFanP1) March 19, 2020
Other liberals called Democrats position a “political loser.”
Interesting as White House + Senate GOP relief plan takes shape including two $1000 cash payments, Senator Schumer & Democrats' plan has "zero" in cash payments instead focusing on long-term pet projects. Huge political loser according to Wash Post: https://t.co/j71jrDymZH
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) March 19, 2020
The proposal from the Trump administration being opposed by Democratic leadership was introduced this week, and it detailed a $250 billion dollar plan to send out two rounds of $1,000 cash payments to every American citizen.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the administration is planning to send checks to Americans in two weeks to help workers cope with the economic effects of the crisis.
Here are some of the details, which could change:
- Under the plan, the details of which were revealed on the Senate floor by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, individuals making up to $75,000 annually would be eligible for a $1,200 check from the federal government in a one-time payment.
Married couples who file their taxes jointly would have to make less than $150,000 to qualify for their payment, which would be $2,400.
From there, according to McConnell’s proposal, the payments would decrease. For individuals, the sum of the payment would fall by $5 for each $100 earned over $75,000.
The payment would phase out entirely for individuals making more than $99,000 annually, meaning people who make more than that would not get any money from the government, according to the proposal.
For married couples earning more than $150,000, the payment would also decline gradually, and it would phase out completely for couples making more than $198,000, according to the plan.
The checks, however, would reduce to $600 (or $1,200 for married couples) for taxpayers who have little or no income tax liability but have at least $2,500 in qualifying income, according to a GOP summary of the plan.
Individuals and couples with children would be eligible for an additional $500 per each child they have.
The president’s handling of the coronavirus has been so good that Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted that Trump’s response has been “incredible” and said, “unprecedented times require unprecedented leadership and we are seeing that in our country right now.”