White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied during the White House press briefing Wednesday that it was a broken promise to include $1,400 direct payments in the Biden administration’s proposed relief package, instead of $2,000.
Psaki was asked by The Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim about the amount of the payments and how it differs from when President Joe Biden was on the campaign trail in Georgia in January.
“During the Georgia runoffs, President Biden campaigned specifically on $2,000 stimulus checks. Obviously, as we’ve discussed, the payment is $1,400,” Kim began. “There doesn’t seem to be an active discussion on actually raising that amount. So, is that a broken promise to voters who may have been expecting $2,000 checks if Democrats won and would the administration be open to raising that amount?”
While campaigning in Georgia on Jan. 4 for the Senate runoff elections, Biden said $2,000 payments “would go out the door immediately” if Democrats won the two seats. He released the details of his proposed relief package ten days later on Jan. 14, which included the $1,400 payments instead. (RELATED: ‘They Can’t Blow It Down The Line’: Manchin Signals He’d Vote ‘No’ On Party Line COVID-19 Deal)
Congress passed a separate relief bill Dec. 20, which included direct payments of $600. Former President Donald Trump had pushed for $2,000 checks instead, but the proposal was not approved by the Senate.
“Well, you’re right that the president is very focused on ensuring millions of Americans receive those checks and that pivotal relief at this point in time,” Psaki responded. “There were $600 payments, as you know, in the $900 billion package that passed in December. This is $1,400. Together that’s $2,000. So it would be delivering on the promise he made and it’s something that he is firmly sticking by.”