Dec 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell: "No realistic path to quickly pass" stimulus check increase

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday he does not see a "realistic path to quickly pass" a House-approved standalone measure for $2,000 stimulus checks, despite calls from President Trump for increased payments.

Why it matters: The move effectively kills any pathway to pass the bill before the end of the the 116th Congress.

What he's saying: McConnell said he has no intention of splitting apart a broader package that combines the checks with Trump's demands for an election fraud commission and the repeal of legal protections for tech companies — two no-gos for Democrats.

  • "The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues that President Trump linked together just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them," the leader said from the Senate floor.
  • "The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats' rich friends that don't need the help," he added.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed McConnell's remarks, saying, "at the very least, the Senate deserves the opportunity for an up-or-down vote."

  • Schumer again attempted to move the House's proposal, but McConnell immediately blocked it as he did on Tuesday.

Between the lines: Trump has been at war with McConnell for days over his and Democrats' push to raise stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.

  • Earlier this week, 44 House Republicans joined the majority of Democrats to pass the House's standalone measure.
  • Some Senate Republicans have coalesced around Trump's bid for increased checks, including Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who have runoff elections next week.
  • Fellow GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) have also publicly supported the raise.

Go deeper: Trump slams McConnell for blocking vote on $2,000 stimulus checks

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