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McConnell Blocks Vote on $2K Relief Checks

Trump says measure must pass unless Republicans have a 'death wish'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2020 3:04 PM CST

(Newser) – While the final weeks of President Trump's time in office were always going to be unpredictable, not many people thought he'd end up on the same side as Sen. Bernie Sanders in a clash with Senate Republicans. The president lashed out Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked an immediate vote on a bill granting Trump's demand to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, Politico reports. "Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP," Trump tweeted. "$600 IS NOT ENOUGH!" On Monday, Sanders threatened to filibuster if there was no vote on the measure.

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Dozens of House Republicans joined Democrats in approving $2,000 payments Monday night. A handful of Republican senators, including Sens. David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler from Georgia, have expressed support for $2,000 checks, but McConnell rejected Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's call for a vote on the House bill Tuesday, the Washington Post reports. He said that the Senate would instead begin a "process" to address Trump's calls for $2,000 checks, an investigation of alleged voter fraud, and the repeal of Section 230 to place limits on tech companies. "Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together," he said. NBC notes that linking the issues would get more GOP support for the proposed measure, while also making it less likely to pass. (Read more COVID relief bill stories.)

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