Politics might make strange bedfellows, but a recent point of agreement between President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders stands out as an especially unlikely alliance.
The Vermont senator, who launched failed bids in 2016 and 2020 to become the Democratic presidential nominee, joined Trump’s call to increase COVID-19 relief payments from $600 to $2,000 per person. According to the Daily Caller, Sanders used the opportunity to slam Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has opposed the increased stimulus checks.
Sanders calls Trump an “unlikely ally”
Sanders used the president’s own words in a Senate floor speech this week as part of his effort to force a vote on the matter, the Daily Caller reported.
The move came in response to McConnell’s refusal to allow a consent vote on the House-passed measure that would increase the sum of approved relief payments to the amount supported by Trump.
For his part, though, McConnell denounced the Democratic Party’s ploy to support a higher payment amount while ignoring two other Trump demands: repealing or reforming a law shielding social media companies and an investigation into allegations of election fraud.
Nevertheless, Sanders wasted no time in attacking the Senate majority leader, noting that 10 of the 25 poorest counties in America are located in McConnell’s home state and suggesting that the Republican’s own constituents would stand to benefit the most from increased government assistance.
Sanders then invoked Trump’s rhetoric on the matter, acknowledging that the president was an “unlikely ally” in his bid to achieve a more robust direct payment to Americans as part of a second COVID-19 relief package.
“There is nobody here who will disagree with Trump more times than I have, and yet here is what the leader of the Republican Party says: He says $2,000 ASAP,” Sanders stated on Wednesday.
“Disagrees with Trump on everything”
The self-styled democratic socialist was not finished yet, though; he went on to rip McConnell later that same day over the majority leader’s stated intention of combining all three Trump demands into one package deal. Such a proposal is sure to diminish support among Democrats and all but guarantees that all three proposals fail.
“As somebody who disagrees with Trump on everything, I’ve got to say he’s right on the need for this $2,000 check, and I hope the Republican leadership listens to him,” Sanders said.
In reference to Trump’s request for legislation that would roll back the protections included in Section 230, Sanders declared that no one “even knows what that is.”
McConnell defended his position with a nod toward fiscal conservatism: “Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it,” he said, according to Politico. “Washington Democrats took President Trump’s suggestion and skewed it so the checks would benefit even more high-earning households.”