Donald Trump not responsible for any of the three COVID-19 checks

Fact check. Donald Trump was not responsible for any of the three COVID-19 emergency relief checks from 2020 and 2021 except that Trump sometimes spoke in support of them. All three payments would have been made with or without his signature. The Democratic Party supported all the checks. The Republican Party only supported some of them. Here is a short summary of what actually happened to produce emergency payments of $1200, $600, and finally $1400.


In March, 2000, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and Republicans controlled the Senate. Some Republicans proposed a one-time emergency payment of between 600 and 1200 dollars for people who earned between $2500 and 75,000 a year in their bill. Some Democrats wanted to provide monthly income during the emergency in the form of a refundable earned income tax credit (EITC) based on the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI). Some Republicans countered by suggesting a one-time payment of $1000. Most everyone finally agreed upon a one-time $1200 payment to all earning under $75,000 in the CARES Act.

VOTE: The House voted 419-6, with nearly all of both parties voting yes. The Senate voted 96-0 with four Republicans not voting. The bill was veto-proof so Donald Trump’s signature was not required. Donald Trump signed the bill taking credit for the $1200 payments and decided to place his name on the checks.


In May, 2020, the House of Representatives under Democratic control passed the HEROES Act, which would have provided another $1200 emergency payment and other relief. Republicans in the Senate rejected the proposal.

VOTE: The Democratic House voted 208-199, passing the bill. 207 Democrats voted yes,14 Democrats voted no. Peter King of New York was the only Republican who voted yes, 184 Republicans voted no. Many did not vote. Donald Trump called the bill “dead on arrival.” The Republican Senate refused to bring the bill to a vote.

Most of the year went by and the 2020 election passed with no more serious work on emergency payments. From March to December, no checks were authorized.


In December, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act with a new $600 emergency payment. Donald Trump refused to sign the bill, complaining that payments should be $2000 (among other things). On Christmas Eve, House Democrats attempted to raise the amount to $2000, but Republicans blocked the change. After Christmas, Trump signed the bill with the $600 payments.

VOTE: The House voted 359-53 for the bill. 230 Democrats voted yes, two Democrats voted no. 128 Republicans voted yes, 50 Republicans voted no. Democrats Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan voted against it. The Senate voted 94-6 for the bill. The six voting against it were all Republicans. Donald Trump signed the veto-proof bill.


On December 28, the Democratic House passed the CASH Act to increase the $600 payments to $2000 with many Republicans supporting it. The next day, Senate Republicans killed the bill. Additional attempts to increase the payment in the Senate failed.

VOTE: The Democratic House voted 275-134 to increase the check amount. 231 Democrats voted yes, 2 Democrats voted no. 44 Republicans voted yes, 130 Republicans voted no. The Republican Senate refused to bring the bill to a vote.


The third emergency payment of $1400 came from the American Rescue Plan Act in March, 2021.

VOTE: The Senate voted 50-49 for the plan with all Democrats voting yes and all Republicans voting no. Dan Sullivan did not vote. The House voted 220-211 for the plan with all but one of Democrats voting yes and all Republicans voting no. Democrat Jared Golden of Maine voted no with Republicans. Joe Biden signed the bill.