Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on a straight bill upping aid payments from $600 to $2,000 for the second time in two days on Thursday.
The Kentucky Republican harshly criticized the House-backed bill as “socialism for rich people” as he debated Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on the Senate floor, according to Fox News. McConnell has introduced his own bill that would up the aid payments to most Americans while repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and investigating election security.
“The data show that many upper-middle class Americans have kept their job, work remotely and remain totally financially comfortable,” McConnell said. “On the other hand, some of our fellow citizens have had their entire existence is turned upside down and continue to suffer terribly. We do not need to let the speaker of the House do socialism for rich people in order to help those who need help.”
McConnell has introduced his own version of the bill on Wednesday, saying at the time that it would “begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus.” He introduced his version after first blocking a vote on the bill passed by the House. As The Daily Wire reported:
On Monday, in a 275-134 vote with 44 Republicans voting in favor, the House passed a bill to provide $2,000 to Americans. Americans making up to $75,000 would receive direct payments of $2,000 — an increase from the $600 checks in the coronavirus relief package approved by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on Sunday night.
While McConnell refused to call up the bill for a Senate vote, on Tuesday he signaled he might package the $2,000 checks with a repeal of a tech liability shield and an election-related investigation.
“The president highlighted three additional issues of national significance he would like to see Congress tackle together,” McConnell said. “Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together. This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus,” he added.
McConnell blocked the House bill on Wednesday, accusing Democrats of altering what President Donald Trump called for and handing out cash to many who are not suffering financial hardship.
“The Democratic leaders have broken from what President Trump proposed. They quietly changed his proposal in an attempt to let wealthy households suck up even more money,” the Senate majority leader said. “Speaker Pelosi structured her bill so that a family of four would have to earn more than $300,000 in order not to qualify for more cash. A family of three could pull in $250,000 per year — a quarter of a million dollars — and still qualify for some money,”
“And Democratic leaders want to call this scheme, quote, ‘survival checks.’ Only my friends Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader could look at households in New York and California who make $300,000 … in households where nobody has been laid off … where earnings did not even drop this past year … and conclude these rich constituents of theirs need ‘survival checks’ financed by taxpayer dollars and borrowed money,” he added.
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