For Americans hoping to see a substantially bigger economic relief check in their account next month than the first $600 they’ve seen since the CARES Act passed last March belatedly signed into law this week by outgoing President Donald Trump, the latest news from The Hill is not good news:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Democrats to set up a stand-alone vote on increasing the amount of recently passed stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000…
The GOP leader did not directly address why he objected.
But he signaled separately that he could package the increase in direct stimulus checks, with a repeal of a tech shield that has emerged as a top target for Trump and election-related investigations.
Although attention has been focused most heavily on Trump’s call to increase the stimulus direct payments from $600 to $2000, attaching Trump’s other conditions like repeal of protections for social media platforms from being sued over content posted by users, or validating Trump’s baseless contentions of election fraud, is very likely a nonstarter for Democrats in the House and Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s blocking of a quick vote on the bill passed by the House is not the end of the road, but it’s a clear signal that a “clean bill” like what the House passed is not going to happen. It’s definitely a setback.
We’ll say it again, since there’s just a few days left to say it: outgoing Sen. Cory Gardner has one more chance in this moment to do something good for Americans, not to mention the two candidates running in Georgia who will decide control of the Senate, by coming out for a swift and clean vote to increase the direct payments to $2,000. Both David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler say they support $2,000 checks. And just like Cory Gardner found in Colorado on a variety of issues, if Mitch McConnell proves to be the block that prevents relief Georgia voters desperately need over the objections of fellow Republican Senators, where’s the incentive to cast a vote that keeps McConnell in power as Senate Majority Leader?
It’s now or never, “Santa Cory.” Go out with a bang, or the whimper we’ve grown accustomed to.