Once again, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked quick action to raise stimulus checks for coronavirus relief to $2,000 on Thursday, getting into a heated exchange with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
McConnell went on to call the effort “socialism for rich people” during his remarks.
“The data show that many upper-middle class Americans have kept their job, work remotely and remain totally financially comfortable,” McConnell said. “On the other hand, some of our fellow citizens have had their entire existence is turned upside down and continue to suffer terribly. We do not need to let the speaker of the House do socialism for rich people in order to help those who need help.”
The majority leader earlier this week introduced his own bill for $2,000 stimulus checks, tying them to other Trump priorities: repealing controversial Section 230 liability protections for online platforms and investigating election security. He made no promises that the bill would be considered, only vague comments that the Senate would “begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus.”
“The liberal New York Times reported this morning that a majority of the households that get non-targeted checks do not end up spending them on urgent needs,” McConnell said, before detailing the provisions in the recent stimulus bill. “There are billions for targeted food assistance, billions for targeted rental assistance, and many billions of dollars vaccine distribution so we can finally beat this virus and re-open the economy in full. These are the kinds of targeted emergency programs that directly help the most vulnerable. And we just poured almost another trillion dollars into them less than five days ago.”
Schumer went on to accuse McConnell of attempting to stall in order to keep the checks from getting passed. He went on to say that with McConnell’s insistence that the bill include something about Section 230 and election security makes it impossible to pass.
“Let me make this offer to the Republican majority. We’re willing to vote on the other issues that President Trump mentioned. All the issues the Republican leader says must be addressed, so long as we vote on them separately,” Schumer replied. “If Leader McConnell wants a vote on these issues, we’re here for it. Just give us a vote on the House-passed bill and we can vote on whatever right-wing conspiracy theory you’d like.”
One thing’s for sure. This whole thing is a mess.
What McConnell is saying makes a lot of sense from an economic standpoint, and we all agree that getting rid of Section 230 is a darn good idea.
The thing that’s concerning though is the lack of help for businesses who are in dire straights because of lockdowns. What immediately needs to be done is the economy opened back up. Completely. Totally. No half capacity or other such nonsense.
Then we can talk about how to help businesses that are in trouble and ensuring folks who need the cash get it.