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Mitch McConnell blocks Senate from voting on $2,000 stimulus checks

The House of Representatives passed a bill allowing the increased payments yesterday (Dec. 28).

Mitch McConnell Getty Images

The legislative plight for $2,000 stimulus checks has hit a major roadblock. On Tuesday (Dec. 29), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the Senate from holding a vote on increasing stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000. The House of Representatives voted to allow the larger checks on Monday (Dec. 28), but an approval in the Senate is required to push the bill forward to Trump’s office.

According to reports, McConnell did not explain why he objected to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request to vote on the bill. He did, however, say that the Senate would work to address Trump’s concerns with the bill, including stimulus checks, liability protections for tech companies and election reforms.

“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 initially impeding the bill, House Republicans joined the majority of Democrats on Monday in voting 275-134 to allow the $2,000 stimulus checks. Senate Democrats are expected to unanimously pass the measure. Senate Republicans Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue, Josh Hawley, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham have also voiced support for the increased payments.

“A vast majority of the public, Republican and Democrat, strongly support $2,000 checks,” Democrat Schumer said Tuesday on the Senate floor. “An overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House supports $2,000 checks. Senate Democrats strongly support $2,000 checks. Even President Trump supports $2,000 checks.”

“There is one question left today — do Senate Republicans join with the rest of America in supporting $2,000 checks?” he added. “Now some of my Republican colleagues have said they support the checks, but there is a major difference in saying you support $2,000 checks and fighting to put them into law. The House bill is the only way — the only way — to deliver these stimulus checks before the end of session.”

Yesterday, Sen. Bernie Sanders threatened to stall the Senate’s plans to override Trump’s veto on a defense-spending package if McConnell refused to hold a vote on the stimulus checks.

“Mitch McConnell: We cannot turn our backs on working families,” Sanders pleaded on Twitter. “Let the Senate vote on $2,000 checks.”

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