Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot down $2,000 coronavirus relief checks recently in the Senate. He did so after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for a unanimous vote on the CASH Act, which was approved in the House on Monday.
President Trump had said he wanted $2,000 going out to everyone but then backed down on his demand and signed off on a $900 billion COVID stimulus bill and attached $1.4 trillion spending bill that includes only $600 checks.
McConnell Pitches Alternative ‘Poison Pill’ Bill
Playing a clever political game in a time of crisis, McConnell has put forward an alternative bill that gives out $2,000 along with striking down Section 230 that gives Big Tech and social media immunity and investigation election fraud.
The majority of the Senate is interested in changing Section 230 not completely scrapping it and Democrats will not go along with an investigation into voter fraud when they are currently weeks away from seeing Joe Biden take power.
In this way McConnell has sunk the $2,000 checks while being able to say he still gave everyone a chance. McConnell’s Tuesday night alternative bill is just a way of making fun of both parties and making sure people don’t get the help they need.
Following McConnell’s blockage, Trump said that the GOP should sign off on $2,000 unless they have a “death wish” and Schumer said McConnell’s maneuver is a clear move to deprive “struggling families” of vital aid.
Sounding off on the Senate floor, Schumer said:
“$600 is not enough. Not enough for the mother in Nashville $4,000 behind on the rent whose water was shut off earlier this month, not for the medical receptionist in Macomb $2,100 behind on the rent, home electricity shut off in September on her son’s third day of virtual kindergarten.”
Americans don't want all that other bullshit tied to increasing stimulus to $2,000. We see the game Mitch is playing.
— Genghis Midnight (@humblyesoteric) December 30, 2020
Calling Bernie’s Bluff
Senator Bernie Sanders has said he will filibuster McConnell’s attempted override of Trump’s veto on the defense bill if he doesn’t schedule an up and down vote on the CASH Act, but unless Sanders gets significant support it’s only going to take 60 Senate votes to squash Trump’s defense bill veto.
Translation: McConnell is very likely to win both fights. He is far from new at the political game and he plays hardball.
It’s clear that he is not worried about Bernie’s threat and also that he is fine having taken a $417,700 loan for his wife Elaine Chao’s family shipping business – tied to Communist China – while also now making sure people don’t get a bit more money in their pockets.
Schumer highlighted the struggle that Americans are currently facing in comments on the Senate floor, noting that:
“Hunger in America is at the highest level it has been for decades, with moms and dads struggling to feed their kids and working families lining up mile after mile to get emergency food packages. We are even seeing an increase in grocery store shoplifting as desperate Americans try to keep their families from going hungry — all of it’s taking place in the wealthiest country in the history of the world.”
Republicans Onboard With $2,000 Checks
Although many Republican Senators oppose $2,000 checks, a rising amount are onboard, including Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio as well as runoff election candidates in Georgia Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Growing unemployment and economic struggles are the reason people need more money according to pro-check Republicans.
Loeffler and Perdue are seeking victory in the upcoming Jan. 5 elections against Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The election will be vital to determine the balance of power in the Senate which will have a big impact on how much Biden can get passed once he takes office.