$2K stimulus checks bill blocked in Senate for second day

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a House-passed bill to increase the amount of recently passed stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, marking the second day the legislation has hit roadblocks.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) blocked an attempt by Democrats to either pass or vote on the bill, which passed the House on Monday.  

The floor drama underscores the increasing likelihood that lawmakers will not be able to pass a bill to boost the stimulus checks before the 116th Congress wraps on Sunday. 

“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 Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help,” McConnell said from the Senate floor. 

McConnell introduced his own measure on Tuesday that would tie an increase in the stimulus checks to the repeal of a liability shield used by tech companies and the creation of a commission to investigate the 2020 election. 

Toomey, who pledged that he would not allow a vote, added, “We know for a fact that a large majority of those checks are going to go to people who had no lost income. How does that make any sense at all?” 

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) tried to pass the House bill, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tried to schedule a vote. They were blocked by McConnell and Toomey, respectively. Under the Senate’s rules, any one senator can ask for a vote, but any one senator can also block that request. 

“There is a very simple solution to this dilemma. Leader McConnell should bring both measures up for a vote and let the chips fall where they may,” Schumer said.

Sanders added that allowing a vote would be “democracy.”  

“We have differences of opinion. All that I am asking is give us a vote. What’s the problem? Allow the United States senators to cast a vote as to whether or not they are for the $2,000 check or whether they’re against it,” Sanders said. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Charles Schumer Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Pat Toomey

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