Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Friday that he met with President Trump on Christmas Day and believes the commander-in-chief’s proposal to increase the coronavirus relief check amount to $2,000 per American is the right decision.
Graham, R-S.C., also said he supports Trump’s other major demand that Congress strip Big Tech firms like Facebook and Twitter from protections enshrined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
The relevant language reads that “no provider or user” of the internet should be “treated as the publisher or speaker” of information published by another individual, which has been interpreted to not classify entities like Facebook and Twitter as publishers.
“After spending some time with President Donald Trump today, I am convinced he is more determined than ever to increase stimulus payments to $2000 per person and challenge Section 230 big tech liability protection,” Graham said on Twitter late Friday.
“Both are reasonable demands, and I hope Congress is listening. The biggest winner would be the American people.”
Trump has been staying at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach County, Fla., for the holiday. Graham was scheduled to golf with Trump earlier, according to the Associated Press.
The president also tweeted that he planned to make “a short speech to service members from all over the world” by video conference to celebrate the holiday, but he declared: “Fake News not invited!” Without giving details, the White House said only that Trump would work “tirelessly” during the holidays and has “many meetings and calls.”
Regarding coronavirus relief legislation, the initial bipartisan compromise that would have sent $600 checks to Americans had been considered a done deal and had won sweeping approval in the House and Senate this week after the White House assured GOP leaders that Trump supported it.
“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600?” he tweeted Friday afternoon. “It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!”
Trump and other critics have deemed the bill 5,500 pages of pork-barrel spending rather than an earnest attempt to help struggling Americans beset by gubernatorial economic lockdowns and the overall drop in commerce ushered in by the pandemic.
“It’s called the Covid relief bill but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” the president said Thursday, going on to point to a provision in the bill that would triple the $600 check for family members of illegal aliens — to $1,800: “This is far more than the Americans are given,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.