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Oregon’s Schrader One of Two Dems to Vote Against $2000 Stimulus Checks

Oregon’s Schrader One of Two Dems to Vote Against $2000 Stimulus Checks

The U.S. House of Representatives voted by a two-thirds majority Monday evening to send every American a bigger stimulus check as the coronavirus continues to impact everyone financially, but Tuesday didn’t bring them the relief they were hoping for. Americans are now angrily processing Mitch McConnell’s veto of the bill that would have increased the stimulus payments from a meager $600 to a slightly more helpful $2,000, they’ve also taken note of the two Democrats who broke from their party and voted against it as well.

While most of Oregon’s congressional delegation in the House voted for the increase on Monday, Rep. Kurt Schrader, the Democrat representing the state’s 5th Congressional District, voted against it. He was joined by Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, who votes with Republicans so often, he’s been accused of actually being one.

Schrader is the most moderate of Oregon’s congressional Democrats. But increasing the stimulus checks is an idea with bipartisan support: Departing U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) voted for it, as did Democratic U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, and Peter DeFazio.

In a statement Monday night, Schrader vehemently defended his vote, calling the larger checks a clumsy attempt at populism that wouldn’t help the people with the most need.

“This is an ineffective and poorly targeted approach to aiding Americans in distress,” Schrader wrote. “It is clearly a last-minute political maneuver by President Trump and extremists on both sides of the political spectrum who have been largely absent during months of hard negotiations. They have chosen to tweet their opinions instead of coming to the table to get aid in the hands of the Americans and small businesses who need it most.”

Schrader said he would rather dedicate more money to the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which aids struggling businesses.

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“These funds would be better used for programs like PPP and unemployment insurance that directly benefit small businesses and hardworking families who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19,” he continued. “This is a gratuitous political gesture that threatens our children’s future for short-term political gain. I feel for all of those who are suffering today due to financial hardship and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to continue finding ways to provide relief during these difficult times.”

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