From The Huffington Post:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday punted on a House-passed bill to increase coronavirus relief payments to $2,000 despite mounting bipartisan support for the checks, including from President Donald Trump.McConnell acknowledged that Trump, as he signed on Sunday the most recent COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress, also asked for action on three areas of concern for him, including the stimulus payments. The other issues on Trump’s wish list are intensified election security and lesser liability protections for social media companies.The Democratic-controlled House on Monday passed a bill to more than triple the relief payments from the $600 in the bill Trump signed to $2,000, with dozens of Republicans voting in favor of it. The Senate’s Democratic leadership is pressing McConnell to bring the measure calling for $2,000 payments to a vote in the chamber, but the majority leader has so far refused to commit to that.
More from The New York Times:
Mr. McConnell did not elaborate further on how exactly the Senate would move to consider Mr. Trump’s demands, which the president made on Sunday after finally agreeing to sign a $900 billion stimulus package and government spending bill into law. Mr. Trump had held the package hostage for days, insisting that lawmakers triple the direct payments to $2,000 from $600, remove a legal shield for companies like YouTube and Facebook and investigate ”very substantial voter fraud.”
The president relented only after Republican lawmakers persuaded him to sign the legislation, saying on Sunday that he had been promised Congress would take up his demands.
Mr. McConnell’s remarks came as a growing number of Republican senators voiced support for the larger checks, and as pressure mounted on the Senate to vote on the measure.
Calling for an immediate vote, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, attempted to pass the measure to increase the size of the checks using a procedural tactic that allows senators to advance legislation unless another senator objects. Mr. McConnell blocked the measure.
Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia have come out in support of President Donald Trump’s push to increase coronavirus relief payments to $2,000 for every eligible American.The decision to back the heftier stimulus checks ― which some Democrats have been championing for months ― comes a week ahead of their highly anticipated runoff races, which will determine which party will control the Senate.Trump, whose administration helped negotiate the latest COVID-19 relief package, stunned Republicans last week when he demanded lawmakers boost the stimulus checks outlined in the bill from $600 to $2,000.
“David Perdue does not care about us, and $600 is a joke,” Mr. Ossoff told several hundred people at an outdoor get-out-the-vote rally with Mr. Warnock in DeKalb County, one of the suburban Atlanta counties that has become increasingly diverse over the past decade.
“You send me and Reverend Warnock to the Senate and we will put money in your pocket,” Mr. Ossoff said. He faces Mr. Perdue in the runoff, while Mr. Warnock is challenging Ms. Loeffler.
Mr. Perdue has been running ads attacking Mr. Ossoff for calling the $600 relief checks “a joke” even though the president had also called them far too small. Mr. Ossoff wrote on Twitter that Mr. Perdue hadn’t even favored a first round of direct payments last spring.
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