McConnell again blocks $2K stimulus checks, says standalone bill has ‘no realistic path’


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again blocked fast passage of a bill to extend coronavirus stimulus funds to $2,000, arguing the measure has “no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate.”

The Kentucky Republican mentioned the one path ahead is to mix the elevated stimulus funds with two contentious insurance policies that President Donald Trump also demanded Congress look at: Repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which permits sure authorized protections for large tech firms, and establishing a fee to review the 2020 election after Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

McConnell’s push to mix the three provisions in a single bill is a methodical technique that probably ensures increased stimulus payments will not pass Congress, as Democrats and Republicans view large tech protections and Trump’s claims on the election very in a different way.

“Here’s the deal. 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,” McConnell mentioned on the Senate ground Wednesday. “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.”

More: Fate of $2,000 coronavirus aid checks in doubt as Senate leader McConnell blocks immediate action

More: House approves increasing stimulus checks to $2,000 for Americans, sends bill to Senate

McConnell objected to a request by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to unanimously move the House bill, which passed that chamber earlier this week, that would increase the stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000. He objected to the same request made by Schumer the day prior and as an alternative launched a bill that mixed the three key insurance policies, although a vote hasn’t been formally scheduled on the proposal.

Senate Republicans had for months urged limiting the dimensions of the help funds, citing considerations concerning the nationwide debt. Most Republicans look like against rising the dimensions of the one-time funds however are coming at odds with direct demands from the leader of their party. Holding a vote on the measure would put senators on the spot to both reject Trump’s calls for for elevated checks or relent on long-held objections to including to the debt.

McConnell mentioned his push to mix the three coverage points was a direct cope with the president after Trump publicly aired grievances with the $900 billion coronavirus reduction package deal, which was connected to a $1.4 trillion authorities spending bill. The president signed the huge package deal into legislation Sunday however has continued to insist on adjustments, lodging threats in opposition to Republicans by way of his Twitter account if they don’t transfer on rising stimulus funds and his different calls for.

“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,” McConnell mentioned on the Senate ground Wednesday.

More: Donald Trump demands bigger stimulus checks in $900 billion COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress

Throughout his speech, McConnell made a transparent case in opposition to rising stimulus funds, citing liberal economists and newspapers that bashed the concept as pointless as a result of the funds usually are not focused and would additionally go to Americans who won’t want them as a lot.

Schumer took the Senate ground after McConnell and the New York Democrat made clear that McConnell’s proposal stood no probability of changing into legislation and was nothing greater than a method “to kill a bill. Make no mistake about it.”

“I want to be very clear about one thing. There is no other game in town besides the House bill,” Schumer mentioned, noting the House had recessed for the yr and thus unable to take up any adjustments to the measure. “The only way — the only way — to get to the American people the $2,000 checks they deserve and need is to pass the House bill and pass it now.”

Multiple senators mentioned the deadlock means rising stimulus examine cash for Americans wouldn’t move and the difficulty would probably roll over to the subsequent Congress, which convenes on Sunday for the primary time.

Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, mentioned there didn’t appear to be time to look at the difficulty and negotiate a deal.

“I don’t see…how we get back to it,” Thune mentioned, noting the differing colleges of thought inside the Senate on every of the problems, together with the GOP divide on rising the dimensions of stimulus checks. The South Dakota Republican mentioned he was not supportive of the president’s demand.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was equally requested whether or not the concept of accelerating stimulus checks was useless for now.

“I think under the circumstances, I think that’s likely true,” he mentioned earlier than bashing Democrats for not being prepared to think about the president’s different calls for. “[Democrats] want to spend the money on people who frankly haven’t suffered any financial losses during the pandemic and that’s just wasteful.”

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for President-elect Joe Biden’s transition, mentioned in an announcement that Americans wanted speedy reduction and it was crucial to extend the stimulus funds now.

“In this moment of historic crisis and untold economic pain for countless American families, the President-elect supports $2,000 direct payments as passed by the House — a priority with strong backing from both parties,” Bates mentioned. “For the hard-working Americans and small companies who’re struggling and want speedy reduction, it is crucial that we construct on the bipartisan stimulus down cost.

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: Stimulus checks: McConnell says no realistic path for $2K checks



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