On Thursday, Susan Sarandon called out Democratic lawmakers and referred to the party's push for coronavirus relief checks as a "bait and switch," as reported by The Hill. The actress quote-tweeted a video of Democrats at campaign rallies ahead of the Georgia Senate elections in January. It showed President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as the Democratic nominees Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, calling for the speedy approval of a bill to send $2,000 checks to Americans. Before the end of 2020, the Trump administration passed a relief plan that sent out $600 direct payments. Biden's $1.9 trillion bill is intended to build on this amount, sending out a check with $1,400 to bring the total to $2,000.
Sarandon's tweet tagged all of the politicians featured and questioned why they weren't pushing for the full amount that they had regularly referenced.
"At a time when only 39% of Americans could afford a $1,000 emergency & over 15 million have lost employer-sponsored health insurance, the diff between $1,400 & $2K is a matter of survival," she wrote.
She went on to write that the failure to be clear about what they meant when speaking about the $2,000 checks is likely to disappoint their supporters who campaigned and voted to give Georgia their first Democratic senators in more than a decade. She hinted that this could depress turnout in coming elections.
"If voters feel like Dems are pulling a bait and switch, don't be surprised when they don't show up in 2022 or 2024," she continued.
Despite criticism from figures such as Sarandon, it appears that Democrats are progressing on their efforts to secure Biden's $1.9 trillion relief deal, as covered by The Inquisitr. Early on Friday morning, Senate Democrats approved a budget resolution that would allow them to bypass the chamber's 60-vote filibuster and approve the bill with majority vote. The bill passed along party lines in the Senate, which is currently split 50-50. Harris provided the deciding vote.
Beyond the $1,400 checks, Biden's bill will also launch a $400 per week federal unemployment benefit, $350 billion that would go to state and local governments, a rise in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and additional money marked for child care and schools. While there has not been much debate about increasing the amount of the checks, the president has promised that they will not amount to less than $1,400. However, Biden has expressed a willingness to negotiate on restrictions based on earned income and sending the checks in a more targeted fashion.