Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood up to the stimulus bill that was passed to his house of Congress on Tuesday, blocking it from consideration.
The bill McConnell blocked would deliver $2,000 stimulus payments to most Americans, according to The Washington Post. While the bill was filled with extreme expenditures that Republicans were generally incensed by, the president signed off on the monstrous spending plan, only if it would allow the extra funding for taxpayers, in addition to the numerous and costly pet projects pushed through by lawmakers.
The president weighed in on Twitter on Sunday, asking Senate Republicans to pass the legislation that would allow for checks more than triple the originally indicated size, to go out to Americans.
“Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP,” Trump wrote. “$600 IS NOT ENOUGH! Also, get rid of Section 230 – Don’t let Big Tech steal our Country, and don’t let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough!”
McConnell was unphased, however, despite acknowledging the president’s comments on the increase in the dollar amount of the stimulus portion of the bill. The Post reported that “McConnell instead took note of Trump’s Sunday statement that called for not only larger checks but also new curbs on large tech companies and an investigation into the November election, and he suggested they would be dealt with in tandem. That tech provision is commonly referred to as ‘Section 230.’
“Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together,” McConnell said. “This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus.”
After McConnell’s comments on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) made his request to take up the House-passed bill.
“There’s a major difference in saying you support $2,000 checks and fighting to put them into law,” he said. “The House bill is the only way to deliver these stimulus checks before the end of session. Will Senate Republicans stand against the House of Representatives, the Democratic majority in the Senate and the president of their own party to prevent these $2,000 checks from going out the door?”
McConnell objected but did not make any further comment on the issue.
While it’s considered to be a blatant act of disrespect for someone of their own party to stand up to the president, many understand that the repercussions of handing out such large checks to Americans would be a big leap in the national budget.
According to the Post, adding the$2,000 checks to the $900 billion package that Trump signed Sunday would add $464 billion to the cost of the legislation. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who has been a huge propionate of passing out more money issued an ultimatum on Tuesday, saying that they would vote to override Trump’s veto of the annual defense policy bill unless McConnell caves and allows a stand-alone vote on the House bill.
“I don’t know what he has in mind, but the House passed, to their credit, a simple straightforward bill,” Sanders told reporters. “Let’s not muddy the waters: Are you for $2,000 or are you not?”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) said in a Monday interview that there would a vote on the checks as well as the laws governing the tech companies, but he didn’t know whether it would come before Congress adjourns on this year.
“What drove [Trump’s] thinking was, I’m not going to give in until I get a vote on the checks in the Senate, and I’m not going to sign this bill until we finally address section 230,” he said. “I don’t know how Mitch is going to do it.”