The homes of Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Republican Mitch McConnell have been targeted after backup checks were not increased.
Police in the United States have said they are investigating vandalism at the homes of two senior lawmakers that appear to be linked to a failed effort to increase COVID-19 relief payments for Americans hard hit by the pandemic.
On Saturday, spray paint on the door of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky read: “WERES [sic] MY MONEY ”, while“ MITCH KILLS THE POOR ”was scrawled above a window. Blasphemy directed against the top Republican lawmaker was also painted under the letterbox.
Louisville Police are investigating the incident, which occurred around 5 a.m. local time (10 a.m. GMT) on Saturday.
“I have spent my career fighting for the First Amendment and defending peaceful protests,” McConnell said in a statement condemning the vandalism.
“I appreciate every Kentuckian who has embarked on the democratic process, whether they agree with me or not. This is different. Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society.
– KRON4 News (@ kron4news) January 2, 2021
Meanwhile, California police said graffiti, a pig’s head and fake blood were found at the home of House Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco on New Years Day.
The vandalism was reported around 2 a.m. (10 a.m. GMT) on Friday, police said in a statement, and a special unit is investigating.
Local station KGO-TV reported that the graffiti found on the garage door of the Democratic leader’s house contained the phrases “$ 2,000”, “Cancel the rent!” and “We want it all” – apparent references to failed efforts by Democrats to increase COVID-19 relief checks from $ 600 to $ 2,000.
Senate Republicans on Friday refused to allow debate on a bill to increase the amount of COVID-19 relief checks.
The increase, backed by President Donald Trump, passed the Democratic-led House, but McConnell blocked a quick vote on the proposed measure in the Senate on December 29.
The government began sending smaller payments to millions of Americans. The $ 600 payment goes to individuals whose income does not exceed $ 75,000.
Congress approved the payment in late December, with Trump signing the bill on Monday after a days delay that threatened the much-needed financial support for COVID-19 that many Americans rely on.
The $ 2.3 trillion financial package includes unemployment benefits and relief allowances for families, as well as funds for vaccine distribution, businesses, cash-strapped public transport and eviction protections .
“It’s better than nothing, that’s what people did for Christmas”, Rosiland Jordan of Al Jazeera said when Trump signed the bill this week.
“There is a lot of criticism against the president for delaying unnecessarily in the opinion of these critics and making things even more difficult for people than it has already been in the past nine months,” Jordan reported.
The United States has been hit hard by COVID-19 and millions of people have lost their jobs amid an economic downturn.
More than 20.3 million cases have been reported across the country since the start of the pandemic, while more than 348,000 people have died, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.