Bernie Sanders to hold up NDAA veto override vote until Senate votes on $2,000 stimulus checks

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont independent, is threatening to filibuster a vote to override President Trump‘s veto of the annual defense bill until the Senate holds a vote on providing $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans.

The House on Monday overwhelmingly voted to override Mr. Trump‘s recent veto of the $740.5 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which sets annual military spending limits and defense policy, setting up a vote in the Senate that is expected this week.

Minutes ahead of the NDAA vote, House lawmakers also approved legislation to increase stimulus checks to Americans from $600 to $2,000.

“[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and the Senate want to expedite the override vote, and I understand that. But I’m not going to allow that to happen unless there is a vote, no matter how long that takes, on the $2,000 direct payment,” Mr. Sanders told Politico late Monday.

“Unless McConnell agrees to a vote on $2,000 relief checks, Congress will be spending New Year’s Eve in the Capitol,” Mr. Sanders tweeted Tuesday.

Although Mr. Sanders can delay the vote — expected Tuesday — until New Year’s Day by objecting to a request for Unanimous Consent from Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, he cannot stop the veto override vote altogether.

Mr. Sanders‘ staff director, Warren Gunnels, tweeted late Monday that the senator “will object” to voting to override Mr. Trump‘s defense bill veto “until we get a vote on $2,000 direct payments.”

“We can force the Senate to stay in session until the New Year. This is no bluff,” he wrote.

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