In a $ 2,000 stimulus check battle, the GOP challenges Nancy Pelosi to revisit foreign aid

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) To consider the “concerns” expressed by President Donald Trump about the foreign aid included in the bill. general government funding law linked to the recent COVID-19 aid efforts.

McCarthy made the comments in an open letter addressed to his Republican colleagues in the House, which he shared on Twitter late on Wednesday, saying that “Democrats appear to be suffering from selective hearing” by recently accepting Trump’s request that stimulus relief checks increased from $ 600 to $ 2,000. McCarthy insisted that Pelosi and others agree with Trump’s requirement to “reexamine tax dollars wasted abroad” before promising to change the foreign aid provisions included in the large spending account.

“House Republicans tried to approve relief more than forty times, but each time President Pelosi ignored our fellow citizens, saying ‘nothing is better than something,'” McCarthy wrote in the letter. “Pelosi tried to use the American people as a lever to make coronavirus relief dependent on government funding – which includes billions of foreign aid at a time when there are urgent needs at home.”

“[House Democrats] conveniently ignored the concerns expressed by the president and shared by our constituents, “he added.” Thus, Republicans will offer a unanimous request for consent to revisit Omnibus’ State and Foreign Operations title so that we can fully address the concerns at hand. It will be up to the Mayor of Pelosi to decide whether to act on behalf of the American people. “

McCarthy urges Pelosi to review foreign aid
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Speaks to the press during a press conference in Washington, DC, on June 25, 2020.
Alex Wong / Getty

The passed legislation includes a $ 900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package as part of a larger government financing account, totaling $ 2.3 trillion. Included in the financing account are about $ 4 billion in foreign aid, less than 0.3% of the $ 1.4 trillion in financing unrelated to the stimulus package. Foreign aid is not uncommon in major government spending legislation and the numbers in the current bill are largely in line with the suggestions from Trump’s State Department itself.

After months of stalled negotiations that seemed to have ended when Congress passed the legislation on Monday, Trump surprised many Republicans by launching a video threatening a veto if direct payments of $ 600 to Americans were not increased to $ 2,000 on Tuesday , an amendment request that Democrats quickly agreed to. Trump also criticized foreign aid, although he denounced aid he had already requested as part of his 2021 budget, according to the Washington Post.

McCarthy intends to challenge foreign aid as a counterattack to Democrats, who hope to approve a stimulus package that includes $ 2,000 in direct payments without changing the bigger bill. Because the House is controlled by Democrats, the package containing $ 2,000 checks is more likely to pass the House than a version that “revisits” foreign aid in the spending bill, although it may cause an obstacle in the Senate controlled by Republican party. It is not clear whether Trump would sign a version that does not include other concessions, even if it was approved by both chambers.

Newsweek contacted Pelosi’s office for comment.