News and Commentary

Senate Refuses To Take Up Enhanced Stimulus Checks Vote On New Year’s Day
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 30: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Democrats proposal for $2,000 stimulus checks has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate December 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Senate continues debate on the Trump veto override and stimulus check increase.
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The U.S. Senate blocked a vote Friday to increase the size of the stimulus checks signed into law late last year from $600 to $2,000 before the next Congress takes over Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) decried the policy proposal on the Senate floor on New Year’s Day, saying it would add nearly half a trillion dollars in spending and that a “huge chunk” of that spending would simply go to rich people.

“The House Democrats’ bill is just simply not the right approach,” said McConnell.

The idea of bumping the size of the direct checks, which were approved in the most recent stimulus package signed by President Donald Trump, has been advocated for by Democrats and a small group of Republican lawmakers. The House recently passed a stand-alone bill, which drew support from 44 Republicans and all but two Democrats. The Senate, however, hasn’t held a vote on the policy.

“I’m with the president on this,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News. “I’m in South Carolina, our economy is really hurting here.” He also said he believed a $2,000 stimulus check was about the right size, and that the next Congress should vote on it.

After the standalone bill was blocked Friday a bill that has been blocked in the Senate repeatedly over the last several days Graham took to Twitter to make his case again.

Other Republican senators have strongly disagreed.

“This is simply not targeted relief for the people who need it the most,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD), who objected to the House-passed stimulus checks bill in the Friday legislative session. “Those who say that we should just vote on this flawed House bill conveniently leave out the fact that they do not want us to amend it to make it better to deliver more assistance to people who are hurting the most.”

Thune argued that Democrats and Republicans had already come together to pass a stimulus package this month that provided “targeted assistance” and dismissed the current checks proposal as a “shotgun approach where a rifle makes a lot more sense.”

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who was the first Republican to endorse $1,000 direct checks back in March 2020, told Deseret News that he was against increasing the funding for stimulus checks: “The economy is showing good signs of life, so we’re not looking for a stimulus. We’re looking to help people in need.”

However, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), an early advocate for stimulus check enhancement, said he couldn’t “for the life of me” figure out why a standalone vote had been repeatedly blocked, and estimated that a “supermajority” of the Senate was in favor of the policy.

“Here we are in the throes of the worst pandemic in a century, that working people have borne the brunt of, and all that we’re asking is that those working people be first in line for relief,” said Hawley.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.