President Donald Trump has opened a can of worms in Georgian politics in his quest to more than triple the dollar amount in direct checks that lawmakers have agreed to send to Americans, Republican poll and political consultant Frank Luntz told CNBC on Tuesday.
After Trump threatened to make an omnibus spending package containing $ 900 billion in Covid assistance disappear in Congress over his displeasure with $ 600 stimulus checks, Trump signed the bill Sunday. However, on a rare occasion, he united with Democrats in paying out $ 2,000 to citizens.
‘The president made a very smart decision by agreeing to sign [the] legislation, ‘Luntz said on’ Squawk Box. ‘their state. ‘
Since most Republicans and Conservatives are not in favor of the proposal to advance the payouts, it caused a storm in the party when Georgia voters cast their ballots on critical Senate run-off next week.
The question forces Republicans to consider whether they should add more to national debt or whether Americans will refuse a financial boost in light of the ongoing economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic.
Republican Sen. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who complete the term of retired Senator Johnny Isakson, are fighting to ward off two Democratic challengers for their seats on Jan. 5. The Senate contests, which will decide the majority in the chamber, attracted a lot of attention. The IDP has a 52-48 lead in the Senate. If the Democrats win both games in Georgia, it will create a 50-vote tie, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as a tiebreaker after she took office on January 20th.
Trump’s pressure to increase stimulus controls has hampered the games in the usually reliable red state, and the complication can be seen Tuesday morning in Loeffler’s comments on the matter on Fox News. After the Democratic-controlled House voted with the support of 44 Republicans to increase direct payments to $ 2,000, the measure is expected to face an uphill battle in the Senate, despite Trump’s support.
Asked if she would support the bill to increase payouts, Loeffler spoke broadly about her support for the president, but did not explicitly say whether she was in favor of increasing direct payments.
“The president has been fighting for our country since day 1. He is still fighting for every American,” she said. “I have been with the president 100% of the time. I am proud to do so, and I have said that we absolutely must relieve Americans now and I will support that.”
In a later appearance on the news channel, Perdue gave a more dedicated response to illustrate where he stands on the issue, saying he supports Trump’s request to increase spending.
“Look, that had to be done four months ago,” he said. “I’m delighted to support the President in his $ 2,000. It’s really a $ 1,400 increase on what we’ve already done, and I think with the upcoming vaccine I think it’s absolutely appropriate, so I fully support what the president is doing the right thing now. ‘
This is a turnaround for Perdue, who opposed the sending of stimulus checks earlier this year before coming out in favor of the $ 600 payout as part of the latest spending package.
While Trump has said the Senate will “start the process” on a vote to increase the dollar amount on checks, it is not clear whether Senate leader Mitch McConnell was a target for the president’s anger after following his election in November. loss, will plan a vote.
In a statement, the Kentucky Republican on Sunday praised Trump’s decision to sign the $ 900 billion emergency relief package, but did not mention the president’s request.
With the run-off in Georgia a week away, Luntz said the IDP is making a ‘smart decision’ to continue with strategies in the state. Trump, who spent the holiday season in Florida golf, will visit Dalton, Georgia, on Monday, ahead of the election, hoping to boost Loeffler and Perdue.
President-elect Joe Biden and Harris visited the state to support candidates Raphael Warnock, who is challenging Loeffler, and Jon Ossoff, who is up against Perdue. None of the candidates received the required 50% threshold to win the seats in the general election in November, which forced a run-off in every race.
‘Donald Trump is needed in Georgia to ensure the two [seats] remain a Republican, ‘Luntz said.
Dalton is about 90 miles north of Atlanta and will be the key to the Republican’s chance of holding those seats, he added.
“Getting a high turnout there can balance what’s happening in Atlanta and the suburbs of Atlanta,” Luntz said of the area that helped turn the state toward Biden. ‘I have to give them credit for the right geographical choice, but the fact [is] that the president just went down [to campaign in Georgia] two times. ‘
Luntz said 3% of Trump voters in the state do not want to participate in the run-off, citing their distrust of the political system in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Trump refused to concede the race to Biden, weeks after the Electoral College cast ballots to confirm the results of the presidential race.
“Honestly, he plays golf in Florida. He has to get on his helicopter, get on Air Force One, even fly to Georgia unannounced because the president still has an impact,” Luntz said. “He can still point out voters who would not vote for anyone else, and they will need him.”