WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — While four Republican senators are on board with a plan to increase the $600 payments already going out to Americans to $2,000, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there is no realistic path forward for the measure.
The Republican majority in the Senate on Wednesday blocked a vote on a bill to send out the extra money, which already passed with overwhelming support in the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
“The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money to Democrats’ friends who don’t need the help,” McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor.
Instead of allowing a vote on the House bill, he is pushing an alternative proposal that combines the increased payments with President Donald Trump’s other more controversial priorities like investigating the election outcome and removing certain legal protections for big social media companies.
“The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues that President Trump linked together,” McConnell said.
“It is a delaying tactic,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said of McConnell’s pitch, saying McConnell is sabotaging the larger payments. “If he is going to slow down or try to put in a substitute on this measure, it’s dead, just dead.”
But McConnell and other Republicans like Sen. John Cornyn of Texas argue the Democrats’ plan goes too far and gives too much money to people who they say don’t need it.
“Households with an annual income of over $350,000, they would get this money,” he said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said the Senate owes it to Americans to vote.
“All that we are asking for is a simple up or down vote,” he said.