UPDATED 9:51 AM PT – Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked an effort to approve higher stimulus checks. The Kentucky Republican objected to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request for unanimous consent on the House passed bill Tuesday.
Members of the House recently voted to increase stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000. The bill passed with bipartisan support in a 275-to-134 vote on Monday, which included 44 Republicans. This fulfilled the two-thirds majority needed to pass in the lower chamber.
President Trump had expressed disapproval of the smaller stimulus payments while noting the bill focused too much on foreign aid and not enough on Americans. The measure would cost around $464 billion in addition to the multi-trillion dollar spending package.
“Not enough money is given to small businesses and, in particular, restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously,” he stated. “It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
Senators on both sides of the aisle have backed President Trump’s push to increase the stimulus payments. For instance, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took to Twitter to praise the President’s move.
Congress will vote on additional stimulus checks and repealing Section 230 — all wins for the American people.
Well done Mr. President!
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 28, 2020
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also voiced his support. He stated, “I agree with the President that millions of working class families are in dire need of additional relief.”
President Trump’s proposal has even garnered support from Democrats with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stating he will work to quickly pass the legislation.
Meanwhile, McConnell is losing support among his party as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) have all shown support for the bill.
The Senate majority leader said the upper chamber will “begin the process” of bringing the higher checks and a repeal of Section 230 “into focus.”