Rep. Tom Reed said Monday he'll be voting for a House bill to authorize $2,000 relief checks for Americans, but acknowledged that President Donald Trump's initial threat to refuse to sign the $900 billion coronavirus stimulus bill over the matter "blindsided all of us."
"Working through this, I understand that the president wanted to raise the checks," the New York Republican said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "That's his position on the matter. What we were able to do is communicate with him."
Reed appeared on the program with Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., who worked with him on the compromise bill Trump signed Sunday night. The two are leaders in the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus. Reed said he'll vote for the bill for the higher payments because he and Gottheimer have supported the increased checks.
Meanwhile, Reed discussed the upcoming congressional confirmation process of the Electoral College vote and pushed back on the argument that many people who voted for Trump are believing his message that there was election fraud, rather than looking at evidence on the matter.
"That's a complete disrespect to the wisdom of the American people," Reed said. "They have come to the conclusion on their own. You're turning your back on the wisdom of the people that have come to that conclusion themselves. That's very disrespectful to the American people."
Reed pointed out that he had recognized Joe Biden as the president-elect early on, and that he stands for the transition of power, but insisted that an "open ear" must be allowed for the millions of Americans who support Trump.
"They call my office incessantly and what I do is I stand and I take those calls and we do town halls and we talk to them," said Reed. "I say, you need to look at the big picture ... even if people may take advantage of the ballot box, maybe if people outfox you at the ballot box, you play at the ballot box and that's where the debate ends."
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