Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday blocked a quick approval of raising stimulus checks to $2,000, rejecting Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) request but noting that the Senate will work to bring three of President Trump’s priorities — an increase in stimulus payments, an investigation into election security, as well as a look at Section 230 — “into focus” this week.
Schumer requested a vote on increasing the amount of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 following the House passing the CASH Act on Monday, and also called for the Senate to vote on overriding Trump’s veto of a defense bill.
“We should not adjourn until the Senate holds a vote on both measures,” Schumer said, adding that McConnell “holds the key to unlocking this dilemma.”
“I believe both measures will pass, as they should,” he said:
NEW: Senate Minority Leader Schumer attempts to pass House-backed legislation to increase Covid stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 by unanimous consent.
Senate Majority Leader McConnell objects. pic.twitter.com/gY6gonXIW8
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 29, 2020
There it is. McConnell blocks motion to vote on Democrats' $2,000 relief checks bill. pic.twitter.com/iYceWbNxiU
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 29, 2020
However, McConnell rejected calls from his Democrat colleagues and noted that the move to increase stimulus checks should be tied to the other requests Trump listed in his Sunday statement, which included an examination of Section 230 and an investigation into voter fraud.
Trump said at the time:
On Monday the House will vote to increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000. Therefore, a family of four would receive $5,200. Additionally, Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed. Likewise, the House and Senate have agreed to focus strongly on the very substantial voter fraud which took place in the November 3 Presidential election. The Senate will start the process for a vote that increases checks to $2,000, repeals Section 230, and starts an investigation into voter fraud. Big Tech must not get protections of Section 230! Voter Fraud must be fixed! Much more money is coming. I will never give up my fight for the American people!
“Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus.”
Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA), two incumbent GOP senators who face runoffs next week, indicated on Tuesday that they support the president’s call to increase direct payments to $2,000.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have also signaled that they support increasing direct payments to the American people.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Monday said he will object to overriding Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense funding bill “until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class.”
“Let me be clear: If Senator McConnell doesn’t agree to an up or down vote to provide the working people of our country a $2,000 direct payment, Congress will not be going home for New Year’s Eve,” he said. “Let’s do our job.”
Trump reacted to news out of the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, urging lawmakers to approve increasing payments “ASAP.”
“Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!” he exclaimed.
“Also, get rid of Section 230 – Don’t let Big Tech steal our Country, and don’t let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough!” he added:
Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH! Also, get rid of Section 230 – Don’t let Big Tech steal our Country, and don’t let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough! https://t.co/GMotstu7OI
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2020