Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday stifled any hope the current Congress will deliver more stimulus money. In a speech to the Senate, McConnell repeatedly denounced proposals to provide $ 2,000 to millions of Americans as “socialism for the rich.”
Despite claims by President Trump and members of Congress that many Americans need the extra cash to stay afloat in the coming months, McConnell has denounced the calls for $ 2,000 as excessive and unnecessary.
“Borrowing from our grandchildren to do socialism for the rich is a terrible way to help families who really need it,” McConnell told the Senate, according to at Politico.
The speech came after McConnell repeatedly blocked Democrats’ efforts to hold a stand-alone vote on the proposal to increase the upcoming relief from $ 600 to $ 2,000 – one that has already passed the House of Representatives. Instead, the majority leader proposed tying the measure to suggested legislation on social media rules and voter fraud investigations for which there is no evidence.
Political observers have described social media and the election proposals as poisoned bills that would doom the additional stimulus measure. The result is that McConnell appears to have decided to run out of time for stimulus talks, since the current session of Congress ends on January 3, and there is effectively no time to pass complicated legislation before that date.
McConnell’s remarks on “socialism for the rich” drew a sharp retort from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Va). According to the Politico report, Sanders accused McConnell of hypocrisy, noting, “The majority leader helped get this body to pass Trump’s tax bill. Do you mean socialism for the rich, Mr. Majority Leader?
Sanders’ comment came after the Democratic senator slammed McConnell on Wednesday for suggesting that changes to the social media law – known as Section 230 – are as urgent or important to Americans as the stimulus measures .
McConnell’s decision to ban a stand-alone vote on the $ 2,000 measure came after a handful of Republican senators said they would support the extra stimulus, which meant the bill could have secured all 60 votes. necessary to overcome a filibuster. By refusing to allow a vote at all, McConnell chose to side with his party’s deficit hawks who said the measure would be too costly.
For now, that means single Americans who earn less than $ 75,000 will only receive the initial disbursement of $ 600. Those who earn a little more will receive a reduced amountand those who earn $ 87,000 or more will get nothing. The thresholds are higher for those with children.
The next Congress, which will be the first under President-elect Joe Biden, could renew its efforts to increase the stimulus amount, but that would likely only succeed if Democrats take power in the Senate by winning both. special elections taking place in Georgia on January 5.
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