President-elect Joe Biden on Monday said if Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock win their races in Georgia that Americans can expect to receive a $2,000 stimulus check.
“If you send Jon and the reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people who are struggling right now,” Biden said at a rally for the Democrats in Atlanta. “And if you send Senators Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington those checks will never get there.”
Biden’s comments come on the eve of two U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia that will determine party control of the legislative body. Ossoff and Warnock will take on Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively.
Despite the president-elect’s assertions, Loeffler and Perdue came out in favor of the $2,000 checks last week.
“By electing Jon and the reverend, you can break the gridlock that has gripped Washington,” Biden said. “With their votes in the Senate we’ll be able to make the progress we need to make on jobs, on healthcare, on justice, on the environment, on so many important things,” he said.
Should both Democrats win, the Senate will be split 50-50 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. As Democrats control the House, the divided Congress has struggled, particularly in recent months, to pass legislation.
After Congress finally passed a second round of coronavirus stimulus relief, which included a one-time $600 check for most Americans, President Trump initially refused to sign off on the bill, saying the check should be increased to $2,000 instead. Trump later signed the bill as it was and the proposal of $2,000 checks was squashed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who said issuing the checks would be “socialism.”
Biden also criticized Loeffler and Perdue as thinking “they’ve sworn an oath to Donald Trump.”
“You have two senators now who think they don’t work for you, they work for Trump,” he said. “You have two senators who think they’ve sworn an oath to Donald Trump, not to the United States Constitution.”
While the pair has supported the president’s unfounded claims of voter fraud in Georgia, calling for the resignation of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both have avoided taking sides on issues that have proven divisive within the Republican party in recent days, including whether they would support efforts to object to the electoral vote count when a joint session of Congress meets on Wednesday.
Trump is set to headline his own rally in support of the two Republican senators on Monday evening.