Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday dismissed attempts to raise the amount of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 in a standalone measure, dismissing the House legislation and accusing Democrats of advocating “socialism for rich people.”
“The data show that many upper-middle class Americans have kept their jobs, work remotely, and remain totally financially comfortable,” the Senate majority leader said.
“On the other hand, some of our fellow citizens have had their entire existences turned upside down and continue to suffer terribly,” he continued. “We do not need to let the speaker of the House do socialism for rich people in order to help those who need help.”
According to Politico, McConnell used the phrase “socialism for rich people” four times during his address.
“Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it,” McConnell said.
“Washington Democrats took President Trump’s suggestion and skewed it so the checks would benefit even more high-earning households,” he added.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has been pushing for $2,000 checks in a rare agreement with the president, disagreed, contending that “virtually nothing goes to the very, very rich.”
“The overwhelming majority of those funds go to the middle class, the working class, low-income people who in the midst of the pandemic are in desperate economic condition,” Sanders stated.
Last Sunday, upon announcing that he would sign the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and government spending measure, President Trump urged lawmakers to raise stimulus checks to $2,000, as well as address Section 230 and “focus strongly on the very substantial voter fraud which took place in the November 3.”
McConnell introduced a measure earlier this week that combined three of President Trump’s priorities, raising stimulus checks to $2,000, repealing Section 230, and establishing a commission to investigate voter fraud. However, McConnell emphasized on Wednesday that the House measure, as it stands, has “no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate.”
“Here’s the deal: The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues that President Trump linked together just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them,” McConnell said.
“The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help,” he added.
President Trump, meanwhile, has been urging lawmakers to deliver $2,000 checks to the American people “ASAP”:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2020
“Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP,” he said on Tuesday.
“$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!” 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