Mcconnell Stops Democrats From Quickly Approving $2,000 Stimulus Checks While Trump Accuses GOP Of Not Acting
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented legislation, combining President Donald Trump's two additional demands to expand direct stimulus payments as part of the coronavirus relief package. The move raised concerns among Democrats, considering that the process for expanding stimulus payments would be shortened.
The Kentucky Republican introduced the bill before he adjourned the Senate on Tuesday. The bill combines increased direct payments with a revocation of the online liability protections (Section 230), as well as the establishment of a commission to investigate massive voter fraud.
Describing the bill as a cynical gambit, New York's Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said it would serve as a blatant attempt to ensure that $2,000 direct payments aren't signed into law. However, McConnell's move was important for multiple reasons in the concluding chaotic days of the 116th Congress, CNN noted.
With politically endangered GOP senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia just days away from runoff elections, McConnell has reached a position where he finds himself navigating a split conference. Florida's Senator Marco Rubio and Missouri's Josh Hawley are also supporting the drive to expand the payments. Hawley is playing a vital role in bringing the issue to the forefront.
While Democrats are trying for an up-or-down vote on the House bill, Republicans claim there's a need for larger stimulus checks. Tension spurring within the Republican Party was publicly displayed on Tuesday when Trump attacked GOP leaders for not taking action, calling them "pathetic" and tweeting they had a "death wish."
Perdue and Loeffler are two new supporters of the $2,000 checks, who are gearing up for impending reelection battles that will determine the fate of the chamber. Aside from them, Senator Deb Fischer also comes forward as a proponent of the massive checks, claiming that people are hurting and they need more aid.
In addition to them, Senators Josh Hawley, Marco Rubio, Lindsey O. Graham have also lent support for Trump's push for $2,000 stimulus checks, The Washington Post reported. Aides say that the group backing the push is hardly a majority.
A considerable number of Senate Republicans aren't happy with the House-passed measure to boost the direct payments. A Pennsylvania Republican, Senator Patrick Toomey, touted the direct payments as "not sound economic policy," considering their size and scope.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn opposed the standalone direct payments boost. He insisted that more focus needs to be placed on the amount Congress has approved in the coronavirus relief up to this point, adding that the move is simply opportunistic on the part of the House.