Lindsey Graham Breaks with Mitch McConnell: $2,000 Checks for Struggling Families ‘Is Not Socialism’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) arrive for a meeting with GOP Senators in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, May 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump is attending the weekly lunch meeting of Republican Senators. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared to break with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after the majority leader dismissed $2,000 checks to American families as “socialism for rich people,” with the South Carolina Republican contending it is “necessary in the times in which we live” and calling for a standalone vote.

“With all due respect to my Republican colleagues, a $2k direct payment for individuals and families who are struggling is not socialism. In my view it is necessary in the times in which we live,” Graham said on Friday, noting that direct payments “may not be most efficient way to help people in need but, given the situation we face are extremely necessary.”

“Going from $600 to $2,000 doesn’t make you a socialist,” Graham continued, urging President Trump to continue to fight for the American people and insisting on a “standalone vote”:

Graham’s remarks follow McConnell’s refusal to allow a standalone vote on increasing individual stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, insisting that the Senate consider such as part of another measure that also addresses Section 230 and an investigation into allegations of voter fraud. The House standalone bill, McConnell said this week, 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.

Tensions erupted again Thursday when the majority leader dismissed attempts to raise the checks to $2,000 as “socialism for rich people,” using the phrase four times during his speech, according to Politico.

“The data show that many upper-middle class Americans have kept their jobs, work remotely, and remain totally financially comfortable,” the Kentucky lawmaker 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.”

McConnell added, “Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it.”

President Trump, who has been forcefully pushing for $2,000 stimulus checks, has continued to criticize Senate Republicans for failing to take action.

“Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity to get rid of Section 230, which gives unlimited power to Big Tech companies. Pathetic!!!” he said on Friday.

“Now they want to give people ravaged by the China Virus $600, rather than the $2000 which they so desperately need,” he added. “Not fair, or smart!”:


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