McConnell Blocks $2,000 Stimulus Check Vote

By Claire Hardwick

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not bowing down to President Trump and progressive leaders’ demands for a $2,000 stimulus check vote. In just a few days, this is the second time McConnell has split with the president over his desired legislation, marking a new path for the Republican Party. 

While President Trump signed into law the second coronavirus stimulus package, he then flip flopped and started to pressure Congressional GOP members to pass a one-time $2,000 dollar stimulus check from the originally negotiated $600. In a surprise tweet from the president, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Progressive leader Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez immediately threw their support behind the president’s request, most likely surprised a Republican would side with their left-leaning views. The House voted 273-134 on Monday to increase the check price, and hoped that McConnell would follow the president’s request. 

But today, in another move of opposition against President Trump, McConnell blocked a quick vote on the legislation. McConnell said that the Senate would address the “three important subjects the president has linked together,” addressing the tech liability, stimulus checks, and election integrity. 

Why this matters: The Democrats, who were elated with President Trump’s support for increasing stimulus checks, want a single piece of legislation. McConnell, however, is cunning. He said that he will address Trump’s three “subjects,” most likely knowing that the Democrats will not vote on any legislation that strips tech companies from liability protections or looks into election integrity. McConnell’s move makes it seem like he is appeasing Trump’s wishes, while knowing the legislation will not get anywhere in the Senate or in the House. 

This is also important because Trump constantly calls Republicans who disagree with him as “Republicans In Name Only,” but ironically, is siding more with progressive Democrats in his recent policy positions. The Senate Republicans did not want a $2,000 stimulus check in the bill, and President Trump threw a wrench in weeks of negotiations. With the two Republican senators looking at uncertain races, this will further split the party on government spending for the coronavirus pandemic. Both Senator Loeffler and Senator Perdue have both sided with the president about a $2,000 stimulus check, but it is unclear if that position will align with conservative in their state.