U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand for larger COVID-19 relief checks of $ 2,000 was blocked in the Senate on Tuesday as Republicans blocked a Democrat-proposed quick vote and split in their own ranks to find out. ‘we must increase spending or challenge the White House.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threw roadblocks at Trump’s demand to increase checks by $ 600 for millions of Americans even as political pressure mounted.
A growing number of Republicans, including two senators in the Jan.5 runoff in Georgia, have said they will support the higher amount.
Most Republican senators oppose the additional COVID-19 spending, which would cost the US government $ 484 billion, although they are also wary of countering Trump who repeated his request in a tweet: “$ 2,000 for our great people, not 600 dollars! “
Following Trump’s lead, Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio, among the party’s potential 2024 presidential candidates, are pushing for the $ 2,000 checks. “We have the votes. Let’s vote today, ”Hawley tweeted.
We have the votes. Let’s vote today https://t.co/woFBHPMSjz
– Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) December 29, 2020
Seeking to find a way out of the political deadlock, McConnell has proposed combining the president’s demand for bigger checks with two proposals Trump wants that aren’t newbies to Democrats – content restrictions on businesses technologies such as Facebook or Twitter and the creation of a commission to examine Trump’s fraud allegations in the presidential election.
“Senator McConnell knows how to make $ 2,000 survival checks a reality and he knows how to kill them,” Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
McConnell “is charging the bipartisan measure passed by the House” providing the checks for $ 2,000 “with independent partisan arrangements that will do absolutely nothing to help struggling families across the country,” Schumer said.
The showdown plunged Congress into a chaotic year-end session just days before new lawmakers were ready to be sworn in for the New Year. And that precludes acting on another priority – overturning Trump’s veto on a massive annual defense policy bill.
The president’s last-minute push for bigger controls divides Republicans, who are split between those who align with Trump’s populist instincts and those who adhere to what had been more traditional Tory views against government spending . Congress had opted for smaller payments of $ 600 in a compromise on the big year-end relief bill that Trump had reluctantly enacted.
Now, Liberal Senators led by Bernie Sanders of Vermont who back humanitarian aid are blocking action on the defense bill until a vote can be taken on Trump’s demand for $ 2,000 for the Most Americans. “The working class of this country is facing more economic despair today than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s,” Sanders said in Senate remarks. “Working families need help now.”
The Republican blockade causes unrest for some as the virus crisis worsens and Trump amplifies his unexpected demands.
Georgia’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, announced on Tuesday that they support Trump’s plan for more extensive checks as they face Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the run-off election which will determine which party controls the Senate.
“I am delighted to support the president,” Perdue told broadcaster Fox News. Loeffler said in an interview on Fox that she also supports the beefed up relief checks.
Trump reiterated his demand in a tweet ahead of Tuesday’s Senate session: “$ 2,000 for our great people, not $ 600!” Other Republicans have analyzed the bigger checks saying the nearly $ 484 billion price tag is too high, relief is not targeting those in need, and Washington has already sent large sums of aid. to COVID-19. “We have spent $ 4 trillion on this problem,” said Republican Senator John Cornyn.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Monday night to approve Trump’s request for $ 2,000 checks in a stunning turn of events. Days earlier, in a brief Christmas Eve session, Republicans had blocked Trump’s sudden demand for bigger checks because he defiantly refused to sign the broader aid bill. COVID-19 and year-end funding.
Trump has spent days on the run from his private club in Florida, where he spends the holidays, and millions of Americans have seen unemployment aid cease as the country risked a federal government shutdown.
Economists said a check for $ 600 would help, but that was nowhere near the purchasing power that a check for $ 2,000 would provide to the economy. “It will make a big difference whether it’s $ 600 versus $ 2,000,” said Ryan Sweet, economist at Moody’s.
However, the outlook now, however, is that McConnell will hold votes on both the House measure backing Trump’s $ 2,000 checks as well as his own new version linking it to the tech firm’s reforms and in the consideration of the presidential election. It would be a process that would likely ensure that no bills go through.
Time is running out to resolve the problem. A new Congress must be sworn in on Sunday. The checks for $ 600 are expected to come, along with other aids, among the biggest salvage packages of their kind.