Senate House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the decision to block a vote on $2,000 relief checks for Americans amid COVID-19 for the fourth straight day on Friday, The Hill reported — and it’s earning him heavy criticism from President Donald Trump.
McConnell has spent the past week blocking the advancement of a measure to increase the amount most Americans would receive as direct payments as part of a COVID-19 relief package from $600 to $2,000.
Trump, for his part, says the American people need their money, and he feels Senate Republicans are wasting an opportunity to do some good.
But according to The Hill, McConnell has said the proposal amounts to “socialism for rich people.”
“Not fair, or smart!”
For Trump, that’s just not a good enough argument. The president vented his fury on Twitter Friday, charging that Senate Republicans “want to give people ravaged by the China Virus $600, rather than the $2000 which they so desperately need. Not fair, or smart!”
Our Republican Senate just missed the opportunity to get rid of Section 230, which gives unlimited power to Big Tech companies. Pathetic!!! Now they want to give people ravaged by the China Virus $600, rather than the $2000 which they so desperately need. Not fair, or smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2021
According to the New York Post, Trump’s mention of Section 230 came after the Senate voted to override the president’s recent veto of a $740 billion defense spending package that Trump said should include a provision repealing the Big Tech-friendly measure.
Senate v. America
The GOP’s decision to buck Trump on these points only adds to the frustration that has been building among the president and his allies since voters hit the polls on Nov. 3 — and it’s even put the conservative commander-in-chief in the odd position of siding with Democrats on more than one occasion.
“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,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Friday, according to The Hill.
But the president does have some support among this own caucus; Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (MO), who has made headlines in recent weeks for promising to contest Congress’ certification of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, has also been pushing for $2,000 relief checks.
“With all due respect, this doesn’t seem to be a Republicans v. Democrats issue,” the Missouri lawmaker said this week, according to The Hill. “This seems to be the Senate v. the United States of America.”
And Hawley is right. With a pair of consequential runoff elections in Georgia just days away, Republicans seem determined to shoot themselves in the foot over $2,000 checks. If McConnell and the GOP want to maintain control of the Senate — and earn back the support of the American people — they simply can’t afford to miss the mark on this one.