Speed Reads

senate showdown

McConnell says there is 'no realistic path' for a quick Senate vote on $2,000 checks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said the Senate will not consider approving $2,000 stimulus checks for Americans as a stand-alone issue, saying the matter must be considered as part of a package that includes a repeal of legal protections for tech companies and investigation of election security — demands made by President Trump.

By itself, McConnell said the Democratic proposal to approve $2,000 stimulus checks "has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate." Trump, Senate Democrats, and some Senate Republicans have said they want the $600 checks increased to $2,000, and Trump warned that if the measure doesn't pass it will be a "death wish" for the GOP.

The House voted on Monday to boost the stimulus checks to $2,000, and McConnell knows that while Senate Democrats support this, they don't agree with Trump's demands to repeal liability protections for social media companies and investigate baseless claims of election fraud. "The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues Trump linked together just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them," McConnell said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that "at the very least, the Senate deserves the opportunity for an up or down vote" on just the stimulus checks, but the request was blocked by McConnell. Incensed, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declared, "All we are asking for is a vote. What is the problem? If you want to vote against $2,000 checks for your state, vote against it."