That stance threatened widespread political ramifications, and came just a day after Trump said it would be a “death wish” for Republicans if they did not raise stimulus payments beyond the $ 600 legislature provided under a broader bailout package from $ 900 billion was approved into law earlier this week.
“The Senate is not bullied into throwing more borrowed money into the hands of the rich friends of the Democrats who don’t need the help,” said McConnell in the Senate.
In addition to Trump and most of the Democrats, a growing number of Senate Republicans had asked for larger payments. These include Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, the two Georgia Republicans who face re-election next week.
McConnell said a House bill passed to approve the $ 2,000 check “did not find a realistic way to get through the Senate quickly”. Instead, he said he would bundle the $ 2,000 checks into a broader bill that would include restrictions on tech companies as well as efforts to investigate the 2020 elections, highlighting the complaints made by Trump about his loss. Democrats said such a package had no chance of surviving and accused McConnell of deliberately trying to kill the stimulus payments.
“By blocking it, they are denying the hardship the American people are now experiencing, health, financial and in every way,” House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Told a news conference.
McConnell’s move could be one of his last as a majority leader until next week’s Georgia special election results are in. If Democrats win both seats, they will take control of the Senate. After speaking on Wednesday afternoon, several other Republicans rushed to halt McConnell’s strategy, suggesting that he had support from several members of his party despite others wanting to vote with Democrats on the larger checks.
“We are not in the position we were in March,” said Senator Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.). The economy has recovered significantly since the beginning of the pandemic.
On Sunday, Trump signed a $ 900 billion economic aid package that was supposed to send $ 600 stimulus checks to more than 100 million Americans. A day later, with Trump’s support, the Democrats passed another bill that would increase those payments by $ 1,400. Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to emphasize his position: “$ 2000 ASAP!”
But McConnell said he opposed the move passed by Parliament on the belief that it would greatly inflate US debt and benefit some families who don’t need financial assistance. Some of the people who would qualify for the payments belong to households earning up to $ 300,000, the GOP leader claimed, adding that many of them were not disadvantaged by the pandemic.
Democrats vehemently oppose linking the stimulus checks to the technology restrictions or voting problems, claiming McConnell is bundling things in hopes of sinking a deal. Even some Republican lawmakers have questioned the wisdom of putting these provisions into a single bill. But McConnell stated on Wednesday that they would be looked at together.
“The Senate is not going to split up the three issues Trump has linked just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them,” he said.
After the Senate process disintegrated, Democratic leaders on Wednesday still pushed McConnell to get at least the House bill to the Senate vote, arguing that a weakening economy and raging pandemic are causing enormous trouble for millions of Americans . Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Who aids in mailing the $ 2,000 checks, said Tuesday that there were at least 60 votes in the Senate to pass the measure, despite the number of lawmakers making the idea public have supported low seems to be less than that.
“At least the Senate deserves the opportunity to vote up or down,” said Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.), chairman of the Senate minority, as he went down to blow up McConnell in a speech.
Schumer tried to postpone the House’s stimulus proposal for the second time this week, but McConnell immediately blocked it. Angrily, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Then aimed at McConnell, saying he would ignore the needs of his poorest constituents if he opposed the additional help.
“We are only asking for a vote. What is the problem? “Said Sanders before making his own unfortunate attempt to hold a vote on Thursday that Republicans objected.” If you want to vote for your state against $ 2,000 checks, vote against. “
Wednesday’s stalemate is likely to ruin any prospect of a last-minute deal on additional stimulus, with only four days left on the legislative calendar before the House and Senate adjourn. The schedule becomes even more complicated as the Senate seeks to finalize its work on the unrelated, unresolved issue of approving the Pentagon’s operations.
Trump vetoed an earlier version of the Defense Act, but the Senate appears to have enough votes to join the House and override the veto. Still, that process could take up much of the Senate’s remaining minutes after Sanders objected to his speedy review – in part to force a vote on stimulus checks that McConnell did not allow.
Sander’s protest cannot, and does not seem to be his aim, really disrupt the conduct of the Defense Act. He effectively backed this up in a speech Wednesday when he called on the Senate to vote on the House bill to increase stimulus checks to $ 2,000 and subsequently a vote to save the president’s veto on defense legislation To put strength. His appeals were unsuccessful after Toomey, who was waiting on the ground, protested Sander’s proposal, arguing that the payments were no longer necessary as the economy was in “recovery mode”.
If an agreement is not reached on higher stimulus payments, Sanders will likely continue to object to the Senate, which is moving briskly with the Defense Act alone. This is forcing the leaders to exhaust all procedural guarantees against a possible filibuster of the legislation and delaying the completion of the law’s veto-override process for as long as possible. However, such procedural obstacles cannot be overcome indefinitely. Despite Sanders’ objections, the Senate is well on its way to voting on an intermediate step in the defense law on Friday. Depending on the time of day that vote takes place, a vote to lift the presidential veto would be held either late Saturday or early Sunday.
It is far from certain that if the Senate gets the final vote on the defense bill, it will pass and Trump will give the first veto of his presidency. But the delays could lead to a photo finish. The Senate must complete the override vote on Sunday before 12 noon. As soon as the clock strikes 12 noon, the legislation, along with all other pending business of the 116th Congress, will expire.