Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that he agrees with President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that more money should go to Americans in the next round of coronavirus relief checks.
On Monday, House lawmakers, including Burgess, are returning to Washington, D.C., to vote on raising stimulus checks to $2,000, something that Trump and Pelosi have pushed for and many Democrats and some Republicans have supported.
Host Will Cain asked Burgess how he will vote on that push.
“First off, it would be great to be able to see the legislative language that Nancy Pelosi is proposing,” Burgess responded, noting that he doesn’t believe “anyone has seen it beyond the broad contours of there needs to be more money to Americans,” which he said he agrees with.
“I agree with that. I agree with the president on that. I think he’s exactly correct,” Burgess said. “I voted against the bill last week because I thought it was too big and too many moving parts, too difficult for people to comprehend.”
“The final analysis: It really wasn’t the help to the American people that the president had envisioned so he wisely instructed us about that and we’ll see today what comes out of the speaker’s office,” he continued.
Burgess also noted that President Trump has said “he does not like to sign big omnibus bills,” adding that he thinks the president “is correct about that.”
President Trump objected to foreign aid in the spending provision of the combination measure – even though the president requested much of that money in his budget request sent to Congress earlier this year. Many Republicans opposed any stimulus checks. But after wrangling, the sides settled on $600 checks. Last week, Trump demanded $2,000 direct payments and refused to sign the legislation into law.
House Democrats then prepped a bill to provide for $2,000 payment checks. This bill is expected to be on the floor late Monday. At this stage, Fox News is told the House will subject this to a two-thirds vote for passage.
By handling this bill as a “suspension” measure (a process that speeds the bill to the floor but requires a two-thirds vote for passage), approving the plan isn’t guaranteed. However, Fox News is told by a member of the House GOP leadership that the measure should secure two-thirds.
Cain asked Burgess if he would support a standalone stimulus check increase or if it has to come with accompanying reductions in spending.
“I think you do have to demonstrate at least some willingness to disclose offsets,” Burgess, who is a physician, said. “At the very least, shouldn’t we know the price tag?”
“I mean, isn’t Speaker Pelosi obligated to run this by the wizards at the Congressional Budget Office?” he continued. “Anything that I try to do in the public health space, that’s always the push back that I get so it seems like that would be a reasonable approach this time.”
He then noted that the “reality is we don’t have time.” He also noted that he is no longer in Texas and traveled to the “nation’s capital prepared to do my job.”
He pointed out what he called “another travesty,” which he said was that “almost 100 Democrats last time voted by proxy.”
“They don’t even show up to do their job so heaven help us that we pass a bill that we don’t read, but we at least ought to show up to cast our vote,” Burgess continued.
He also noted that if members of Congress “legitimately did our job at the budgetary level, at the appropriations level, we wouldn’t find ourselves in these fixes at the end of the year, everything crammed into one bill and then hold a gun to your head you’ve got to either vote for it or the American people suffer.”
“That’s no way to govern,” he stressed.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.