Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Dec. 30 said the House-passed bill to increase the stimulus check payment to $2,000 isn’t going to pass in the upper chamber.
This comes after President Donald Trump slammed the CCP virus stimulus package last week, calling on Congress to pass $2,000 payments and get rid of measures not related to the pandemic. Trump also vetoed a defense spending bill because it failed to address reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
On Dec. 28, the House passed the $2,000 stimulus payment bill. McConnell blocked unanimous consent to authorize $2,000 stimulus checks and introduced a different bill that tied the $2,000 payments to a repeal of Section 230 as well as the establishment of a committee that would investigate voter fraud claims.
“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. 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,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Dec. 30.
The House-passed bill “does not align with what President Trump has suggested” and “has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate,” he said.
“To ensure the president was comfortable signing the bill into law, the Senate committed to beginning one process that would combine three of the president’s priorities … three of the president’s priorities in one Senate process,” McConnell said.
Democrats said the Republican majority leader’s bill won’t pass in the Senate because no Democrats will support it.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) followed by saying McConnell’s proposal is essentially a way for Republicans to kill the measure.
“At the very least, the Senate deserves the opportunity for an up or down vote,” Schumer said on the floor.
McConnell’s comments came a day after Trump wrote on Twitter that it would be a “death wish” for the GOP not to support the additional stimulus payments, as it would cast a shadow over the looming Senate runoff election. Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) are facing off against Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively, in the Jan. 5 contest.
The Jan. 5 runoff election could potentially tip the scales for either Republicans or Democrats. Both Ossoff and Warnock would have to win in order for Democrats to potentially regain control.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News that McConnell should pass the standalone stimulus bill.
“The long-term control of the U.S. Senate lies in Georgia. Both Georgia senators have endorsed the $2,000 payment that President Trump has proposed, and Mitch ought to bring it up with a clean vote,” Gingrich told the network on Dec. 30.