Mitch McConnell rebuffs Trump, Democrats by blocking $2,000 cheques

McConnell also blocked a motion by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont to vote on the stimulus checks immediately after the Senate votes on overriding Trump’s veto of a key defense policy Bill | Photo: Bloomberg
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to force quick action increasing direct stimulus payments to $2,000 as President Donald Trump warned that failing to act now amounted to a “death wish” by Republicans.

McConnell objected to a motion by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to approve by unanimous consent a stimulus-checks bill that passed the House on Monday. He also blocked a motion by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont to vote on the stimulus checks immediately after the Senate votes on overriding Trump’s veto of a key defense policy Bill.

Floor requests to immediately pass legislation are frequently criticized as stunts, but this episode highlights how unlikely it is that the Senate will pass a bill increasing the payments before Congress adjourns Sunday.

McConnell said the Senate would consider higher stimulus checks in conjunction with two other Trump complaints unrelated to the pandemic relief bill he signed into law: An investigation into alleged election fraud and reworking a law that shields technology companies from liability for user content.

“This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus,” McConnell said, without explaining when or if a vote would happen.

But Trump wasn’t satisfied. In a tweet Tuesday afternoon, he said the GOP should pass the bigger stimulus payments “ASAP.” He also said Republicans should deal with his other demands regarding the election and tech firms.

McConnell initiated a process later Tuesday to put a bill on the Senate calendar that would increase the direct payments to $2,000, create an advisory committee to review 2020 election results and repeal the provision of the 1996 law that protects technology firms from liability, according to a copy provided by Schumer.  

Trump asks SC to hear petition on Wisconsin polls

Trump's campaign has asked the US Supreme Court to take its failed lawsuit challenging election results in swing state Wisconsin. 

Trump lost the state to Joe Biden by about 21,000 votes. The campaign seeks to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots. AP/PTI




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