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Are we any closer to new $2,000 stimulus checks? Texas congressman explains what's behind the delay

“You’re going to continue to see President Trump continue to be a very influential person in the Republican Party for years to come," said U.S. Rep. Van Taylor.

DALLAS — Expanding federal stimulus checks to $2,000 payments will take more time to negotiate between Congress and the White House, U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano said in an interview this weekend.

“We’re working on that as we speak. Republicans in the House and the Senate are saying, ‘Hey, let’s target it more.’ Democrats are sort of quietly discussing with the White House, ‘Hey, let’s try to target this. Let’s try to take the price tag down to something we can all afford,’” said Congressman Taylor on Sunday’s Inside Texas Politics.

The Collin County Republican said sending checks to millions of Americans is not the most effective way to help those directly affected by job cuts in the pandemic.

“I think we need to be thoughtful and targeted in how we think about aid, rather than just sort of blasting it out, knowing we’re sending too much money to people who don’t need it and not sending enough money to those who really do need it,” Congressman Taylor said on Inside Texas Politics.

But, like everything in D.C., politics is overshadowing it.

The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins in the Senate next week as the country considers how to move past the political violence his supporters wrought on the Republic.

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump's name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“I condemn political violence on the left and on the right. This is not the way our country should solve problems. We have a political process to solve problems,” Taylor said, when asked how the country should move forward. “There are certainly some very raw wounds around this country and in Congress. I’m certainly working to bind those wounds up because there are things we need to do as a country to try to come out of this pandemic and rebuild our economy.”

Loyalty to Trump has driven a wedge through the Republican Party. Some established conservatives like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggest he is ready to move on after Trump’s defeat while the former president’s loyal supporters refuse to do so.

“You’ve had former presidents since George Washington and they have influence in the country’s future [but] over time that influence fades,” Taylor explained. “You’re going to continue to see President Trump continue to be a very influential person in the Republican party for years to come but I think different issues and different challenges are in front of us and we’re going to address those as best we can as a Congress and a nation.”

There’s one group in Congress that hasn’t gotten as much attention as it should have over the last four years. It’s the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 56 lawmakers in the House – evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans – who look for common ground and ways to advance legislation.

Taylor is one of two members from Texas.

The Problem Solvers have even started a companion bipartisan group in the Senate known as the Common Sense Caucus, which has 16 members, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

Taylor said the additional $600 stimulus checks some people started receiving before Christmas were the direct result of bipartisan solutions worked out in the Problem Solver Caucus.

“It’s very important that when you come up with a solution, it’s not just working in your chamber, it’s got to work in both chambers and be acceptable to the executive,” he added.