During a Monday night rally in Atlanta, the president-elect urged Georgia residents to vote blue in the state's Senate runoff elections, claiming a failure to do so would prevent another round of much-needed stimulus payments. Biden's comments came a day before Georgians headed to the polls to determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are taking on Democrat challengers Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, respectively. If the Democrats manage to win the elections, the Senate will be split 50-50 between the two parties. This would give the GOP a significant disadvantage, as Democratic vice president-elect Kamala Harris would cast potential tie-breaking votes.
"If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people who are struggling right now," Biden told the crowd outside Georgia State University. "And if you send (Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It's just that simple. The power is literally in your hands."
A number of lawmakers—including President Donald Trump—have expressed their support for $2,000 direct payments to Americans, many of whom are still reeling from the coronavirus lockdowns. However, those measures have been blocked by the GOP-controlled Senate, which recently passed a COVID-19 relief bill that included $600 direct payments—half of what was sent out in the first round of stimulus checks.
"Think about what it’ll mean to your lives, putting food on the table, paying rent, paying your mortgage, paying down the credit card, paying the phone bill, the gas bill, the electric bill," Biden said during Monday's rally. "Just look around, millions of people in this country out of work through no fault of their own."
Ossoff, Warnock, Perdue, and Loeffler have all supported $2,000 checks. Georgia polls close at 7 p.m. tonight.