Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that congressional Democrats are pursuing “socialism for rich people” by pushing for direct payments of $2,000 to millions of Americans.
“Socialism for rich people is a terrible way to help the American families that are actually struggling,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor.
Democrats are pushing to increase the $600 checks for millions of Americans that were part of a $900 billion coronavirus relief package to $2,000.
Mr. McConnell said that under the Democrats’ bill that passed the House this week, a family of five earning $250,000 per year would get a $5,000 check.
“We do not need to let the speaker of the House do socialism for rich people in order to help those who need help,” Mr. McConnell said.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer again tried to move for a vote on the House-passed bill, but Mr. McConnell objected.
Mr. McConnell introduced his own bill that included the $2,000 checks, a repeal of certain protections for social media companies, and language setting up an election integrity commission — two other priorities of President Trump.
Mr. Schumer said that with the House out for the year, Democrats’ bill is the only game in town.
“Either the Senate takes up and passes the House bill, or struggling Americans will not get $2,000 checks during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” Mr. Schumer said.
Mr. Schumer said the Senate can consider all three issues separately.
“Just give us a vote on the House-passed bill, and we can vote on whatever right-wing conspiracy theory you’d like,” the New York Democrat said.
Senate Democrats are holding up quick action on a vote to override Mr. Trump’s veto of a defense authorization bill to try to win an up-or-down vote on the $2,000 checks bill.
Unless senators come to an agreement to speed things up, a final vote to override the veto could slip to this weekend. The current Congress ends on Sunday.
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