Speed Reads

coronavirus relief

McConnell blocks vote on $2,000 stimulus checks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) motion to increase, by unanimous consent, stimulus checks for qualifying Americans to $2,000 from the $600 included in Congress' $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. McConnell also blocked a request to vote on the issue immediately from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who then followed through on his threat to delay a Wednesday vote to override President Trump's veto on a military defense defense spending bill, CNBC notes.

McConnell's actions weren't the end of the debate around increasing the checks, a measure already passed by the House that is supported by Trump, Senate Democrats, and a handful of Republicans. He said the upper chamber will in fact "begin a process" to bring the direct payments "into focus," along with unrelated complaints from Trump, including unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud and the repeal of Section 230, which provides liability protections for tech companies.

But, as Bloomberg notes, Congress adjourns Sunday, so the chances of actually voting on and passing the legislation between now and then are dwindling. Read more at Bloomberg and CNBC.