Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) are making a push during negotiations to include 2 million American citizens in the next round of Coronavirus stimulus checks who didn’t receive the relief in the first round, the Hill reports.
What We Know:
- The White House denied access to the CARES Act, which sent $1,200 direct payments to Americans, to nearly 1.7 million citizens who were married to foreign nationals without Social Security numbers.
- Democrats fought to have relief checks sent to all taxpayers in the last round of negotiations in March, including those who file taxes using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Foreign nationals can use an ITIN to file taxes in the United States. When the Democrat’s proposal was blocked by the Trump administration and GOP Senate, those 1.7 million U.S. citizen spouses of ITIN holders were excluded from receiving stimulus checks.
- Senators Rubio and Tillis are fighting to include those excluded in the next round as Coronavirus relief negotiations heat up. “Senator Rubio believes that no American should be denied a federal stimulus check because they are married to someone who is not a U.S. citizen,” a spokeswoman for Rubio said Thursday.
- Rubio and Tillis see the proposal having two key benefits. For one, they believe Americans should not be discriminated against for who they marry. In addition, they want to capture as many potential voters as they can with President Trump’s poll numbers dropping and a Republican Senate majority hanging in the balance. Tillis faces a tough race in North Carolina as he attempts to defend his seat.
- “Any GOP member not voting in favor is certainly going to be targeted as not being fair or equitable, and their motivations are going to be put in question,” Al Cardenas, co-chairman of the American Business Immigration Coalition, said in a statement. “For U.S. citizens to once again be treated in a disparate manner in trying times is mean-spirited, and there’s no logic to it.”
- Rubio’s bill would provide stimulus checks to 291,000 citizens in Texas, 81,000 in Florida, 31,000 in North Carolina, 16,000 in Wisconsin, 30,000 in Colorado and tens of thousands in other states. This would help American citizens with their financial hardships during the pandemic but also give Republican candidates a potential poll boost in key states.
The push comes as both Republicans and Democrats alike are working to provide a stimulus as fears of a COVID second wave loom over the heads of Americans.