Joe Biden has been president for a little more than a week, but that hasn’t stopped him from hitting the ground running. He’s already signed 22 executive orders to date, many freezing or overturning Trump administration policies. But there’s still one thing Biden hasn’t done—send Americans the $2,000 stimulus checks he repeatedly promised them.
The new checks are part of Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion relief package, which the president has insisted he wants bipartisan support for. Republicans, predictably, haven’t budged, and some Democrats—namely new Georgia Sens. John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who campaigned on $2,000 relief checks for Americans—are growing restless. WaPo reported yesterday that Ossoff and Warnock urged swift action on COVID-19 relief on an internal call with the Biden administration, specifically the checks that were promised.
It’s not hard to be skeptical of Biden. Democrats have conditioned voters into thinking they’re loathe to do anything productive, particularly when it comes to helping Americans in any way. That doesn’t stop them from talking a big game, though—sending out $2,000 checks was all the rage when Ossoff and Warnock were running for Democratic Senate control. Now that Dems actually control the Senate (and White House), though, they’re dragging their feet.
The Georgia senators have no illusions about what resonated with the electorate and won them their runoffs. But the Biden administration, eager as ever to negotiate against itself, has already curbed the enthusiasm of the next round of stimulus checks by saying they’d actually be worth $1,400—which combined with the recent $600 stimulus brings the total to $2,000. It was a blatant change in rhetoric, and one Biden defenders have scurried to rationalize for weeks now. But facts are facts: the president appeared in campaign ads in which he promised $2,000 economic relief checks to Americans if Democrats gained Senate control. He didn’t promise $2,000 on aggregate, and he certainly made it seem like it was at the top of his priority list—not something we’d be openly wondering about more than a week into his presidency.
The fear with Biden has always been his (and Dems’) general reticence to do anything productive. Some of the president’s early executive orders have been good, even if some of them are more about optics than actually creating change. They’re an effective way to establish Biden’s presidency and undo some of the idiocy and damage of Trump’s. The time is rapidly approaching, however, that people will want more of what was promised. Some would argue that time is already here. Nothing has stopped Biden from picking up a pen and making the next round of stimulus checks law by executive order—nothing but himself, that is.