Joe Biden‘s critics are claiming the president “lied” about the size and promptness of stimulus checks promised during campaigning in the Georgia runoffs.
The #BidenLied hashtag began trending on Twitter on Sunday after the Democratic Party shared a tweet that outlined Biden‘s plans to get $1,400 checks to most Americans—on top of the already agreed $600 payments.
“[Biden] will build on the $600 down payment provided by Congress last year, sending an additional $1,400 to households across America, totaling direct payments to $2,000 per person,” the party posted on Saturday.
Biden announced his $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” on January 14, when he said: “We will finish the job of getting a total of a $2,000 in cash relief to people who need it the most. The $600 already appropriated is simply not enough.”
A White House press release issued six days later specifically cited the president’s plans to send out “$1,400 per-person checks.”
Podcast host Ryan Knight, who has been involved in a campaign calling for a new political party for progressives, was among the loudest voices making the claims.
Knight and others using the hashtag cited comments made by the president during campaigning during the Georgia runoffs in early January, which resulted in the election of Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
“By electing Jon and the reverend [Warnock] you can make an immediate difference to your own lives, the lives of the people all across this country… because their election will put an end to the bock in Washington on that $2,000 stimulus check,” Biden told a rally in Atlanta on January 4, the day before in-person voting began.
“That money that would go out the door immediately to help people who are in real trouble.”
The extra $1,400 checks have not yet been released, 10 days since Biden was sworn into office.
President Biden has signed a raft of executive orders since entering the Oval Office on January 21. Those orders, which do not require Congress’ approval, have included increases in federal food assistance and attempted to streamline the delivery of stimulus checks the $600 checks.
However, Biden has faced criticism from both conservatives and progressives over his $1.9 trillion stimulus package and it not having successfully passed into law.
Not all aspects of his package have found bipartisan support and a successful deal could take months of negotiations during a time when millions of Americans are continuing to struggle due to the pandemic.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week that Biden‘s “clear preference” is to pass a bipartisan bill, adding “we’re also not going to take any tools off the table.”
Without enough Republican support to pass the plan, the Democrats could try to pass it using budget reconciliation rules, which require a simple majority.
Experts have predicted that a package, including the fresh $1,400 payments, will be signed off between mid-February and the end of March.