Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday night criticized Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for introducing a new bill tying the $2,000 direct payments to “unrelated” demands, saying the leader’s bill is doomed.
“Senator McConnell knows very well how to make a bill of law, and he knows how to kill a bill,” Schumer said, adding that, “The only way to deliver the $2,000 survival checks to Americans, is to pass the bipartisan House-passed bill called the CASH Act.”
After blocking Schumer’s attempt to unanimously pass the CASH Act bill to increase direct payments in the year-end coronavirus relief package to $2,000, McConnell revealed Tuesday night, that he had his own $2,000 direct payment bill, which also included repealing of Section 230 and to the creation of a bipartisan committee to investigate voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“What we’re seeing right now is Leader McConnell trying to kill the checks the $2,000 checks desperately needed by so many American families by tying them completely to partisan provisions that have absolutely nothing to do with helping struggling families across the country,” Schumer said at a Wednesday afternoon press briefing.
Schumer called on McConnell to bring the CASH Act up for a vote in the Senate, adding that he is hopeful the bill, which passed the House, would have the bipartisan 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.
“And right now, before January 3, [the] only way to get it done is to put the House-passed bill on the floor [of the Senate], get 60 votes, send it to the president who will obviously sign,” Schumer said.
McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
The majority leader’s bill comes as pressure for direct $2,000 stimulus payments mounts with the demand from President Donald Trump calling for the increase in direct payments.
Although President Trump signed a bipartisan $900 billion COVID-19 relief and government spending package on Sunday, which included $600 in stimulus payments to most Americans, the president called on lawmakers to increase the direct payments to $2,000.
Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told Fox News on Wednesday that Sen. McConnell must pass the stand-alone CASH Act without delay for the sake of the Republican majority.
The Jan. 5 Senate runoffs in Georgia will decide which party controls the Senate. Currently, the GOP has the majority with 50 to 48. The two Republican incumbents Georgia Senators, Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) have said they will support the $2,000 checks.
Their opponents Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff are also calling for the increased direct payments and are using McConnell and the GOP obstruction to their advantage.
Gingrich said, “Frankly, Warnock and Ossoff could be in favor of the $2,000 and could attack Mitch McConnell for the next six days, and I think it is very hard at that point to win the race. This is very straightforward. Once we get this solved, then it is a straightforward fight with two things. Turnout and making sure the ballot count is honest, and I think the Republicans have done a great job of developing the best grassroots Georgia has ever seen.”
“The long-term control [of the Senate] lies in Georgia,” Gingrich added. “Both Georgia senators have endorsed the $2,000 payment that President Trump has proposed and Mitch ought to bring it up in a clean vote.”