Wednesday, October 20, 2021
HomePoliticsGOP-led Senate again blocks $2,000 stimulus check vote

GOP-led Senate again blocks $2,000 stimulus check vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doubled down Friday on his opposition to $2,000 stimulus checks and Republicans again blocked last-ditch efforts to approve the enhanced coronavirus relief.McConnell dismissed the $2,000 checks as a “universal cash giveaway” and not the right approach to provide targeted relief to those who need it most. “A huge chunk would essentially be socialism for rich people,” McConnell said. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., balked at the notion that Republicans are now concerned about “socialism for rich people” when they were OK passing huge tax breaks for corporations. For added effect, he brought poster-sized checks to the Senate floor showing the millions in tax rebates companies like Amazon, Chevron and Delta Airlines received. “That is what socialism for the rich is about,” Sanders said of the corporate giveaways. “Socialism for the rich is not  — in the midst of this terrible pandemic — putting a $2,000 check into the hands of working families.””I see, if I may say so, a bit of hypocrisy here,” Sanders added.Sanders, with the support of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., attempted to bring a vote on $2,000 checks legislation on Friday and a vote on a McConnell-backed plan that pairs the $2,000 checks with measures on election security and curbing Big Tech — two other priorities of President Trump.But Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, objected to the request for a vote, on behalf of an absent Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., — effectively quashing the effort for $2,000 checks passing the Senate.Time was running out for a vote since the current Congress ends on Sunday. Any pending legislation would die and have to be reintroduced in the new session. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., spoke about the urgency of the matter in a floor speech Friday before Republicans rejected his request for a vote. “If the Senate does not take action today, $2,000 checks will not become law before the end of Congress and they will know that Leader McConnell and the Republican majority have prevented them from getting the checks, plain and simple,” Schumer said. Congress already passed $600 checks as part of a broader $900 billion aid package. But Trump said he wanted bigger checks and the House agreed by passing standalone legislation and sending it to the Senate, where it was blocked.

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