Trump turns up heat on Senate to approve bigger stimulus

Trump turns up heat on Senate to approve bigger stimulus

President pushes for higher direct payments that would boost relief package by $464bn

Donald Trump challenged Senate Republicans to approve an increase in stimulus cheques to $2,000 per person, defying his own party leaders in Congress in one of the last political clashes of his presidency.

A day after the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation raising the direct payments from $600, Mr Trump urged the Republican-controlled Senate to do the same, despite the resistance of many lawmakers of his party to increased spending.

“Give the people $2,000, not $600. They have suffered enough!” Mr Trump wrote in tweet early Tuesday.

The US president’s pressure came as Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, prepared to bring the upper chamber back into session after the holiday. Mr McConnell has not said whether he would schedule a vote on the larger direct payments.