Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday halted prompt action on the Senate floor on a $ 2,000 Coronovirus Stimulus check as he traded harsh words with minority leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y.
McConnell, R-Ky., Saw the House-Pass bill as “socialism for the rich” for a $ 2,000 incentive check in floor comment. The comment was the most direct directive to date on his protest at President Trump’s request that the incentive check be increased by $ 600 in a recent promotion.
“Statistics show that many upper-middle-class Americans work their jobs remotely and are completely financially comfortable,” McConnell said. “On the other hand, some of our fellow citizens have their entire existence turned upside down and suffering badly. We do not need the Speaker of the House to do socialism for the rich to help those who need help . “
Earlier this week the majority leader introduced his bill for a $ 2,000 stimulus check, binding him to Trump’s other priorities: repealing the controversial Section 230 liability protection for online platforms and checking election security. He made no promises that the bill would be considered, only vaguely commenting that the Senate would “begin a process to bring these three priorities into consideration.”
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McConnell also insisted on Wednesday that the president signed a $ 900 billion stimulus package this week, which included “targeted” incentive efforts.
McConnell said before recently expanding the provisions in the incentive bill, “The liberal New York Times reported this morning that most families receiving non-targeted checks do not spend on immediate needs.” “There are billions for targeted food aid, billions for targeted rental assistance, and billions of dollars worth of vaccine distributions so that we can finally beat this virus and open up the economy in full. These are the types of targeted emergency programs that directly Help. The weakest. And we put in almost another trillion dollars in less than five days. “
Schumer, DN.Y. Replied that McConnell is just trying to stall to prevent the check from passing. He said at the insistence of the majority leader that the Senate considers the investigation only with Section 230 and that election security would make it impossible for anything to become law.
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“I propose this to the Republican majority. We are ready to vote on other issues mentioned by President Trump. The Republican leader says that all issues must be addressed, so until we vote for them separately Are, ”said Schumer. “If leader McConnell wants a vote on these issues, we’re here for it. Just give us a vote on the House-Pass bill and you can vote on whatever right-wing conspiracy theory you like.”
Schumer then requested that the Senate quickly vote on the House bill on a 2,000 billion stimulus check. McConnell objected.
Soon after Schumer spoke, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT., Also moved quickly to vote on the House bill for a provocative investigation. McConnell also objected to that.
Sanders said McConnell’s move is to repeal the $ 230 check to Section 230 and that a voter fraud commission is a “poison pill designed to kill that law.”
The call for a check by Trump comes after McConnell’s opposition to the $ 2,000 check since Congress first sent him the incentive bill with 600 checks. Trump has become increasingly frustrated with his fellow Republicans in recent weeks and directed a significant amount of that into top Senate Republicans.
“Unless Republicans wish to die, and that’s right, they should approve the $ 2000 payment ASAP. $ 600 IS NOT ENOUGH!” Trump tweeted earlier this week. “Also, get rid of Section 230 – don’t let Big Tech steal our country, and don’t let Democrats steal the presidential election. Get tough!”
He later said: “$ 2000ASAP!”
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The uproar over the stimulus check was scheduled to be relatively low in the upper chamber on Thursday, as it would prioritize President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.
The Senate had no scheduled votes for Thursday. McConnell on Wednesday filed a “cloture petition” over the NDAA veto override, which cannot be voted on until two days after it was filed. The Senate is currently scheduled to take its cloture vote – a procedural vote to end the debate – meaning the NDAA is on Friday, which will set the final vote on Saturday.
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Between the Senate’s need to pass the NDAA and McConnell’s stalled strategy before the current Congress ends Sunday afternoon, it is now highly unlikely that the Senate will even tax for a vote on the $ 2,000 stimulus check, let alone Pass them.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.