Loss-lose to McConnell as Trump, Dems supports $ 2,000 stimulus checks

  • Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is under pressure after President Donald Trump called for greater stimulus controls.
  • McConnell has spearheaded Republican efforts for months to limit spending in a COVID-19 stimulus package.
  • After lawmakers reached a hard-won compromise this week, Trump undermined his own party by demanding $ 2,000 checks instead of $ 600.
  • Democrats sided with the president. McConnell now has to admit or stand firm and justify denying larger payments to Americans.
  • Reports indicate that McConnell fears being too stingy could play badly in Georgia elections and cost the Senate GOP scrutiny.
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President Donald Trump launched a surprise push Tuesday evening to increase stimulus checks in the COVID-19 aid package from $ 600 to $ 2,000 per person.

The Democrats cheered on his demand, putting pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and leaving him in a nonprofit situation.

Trump released a video criticizing the $ 900 billion coronavirus aid package that Congressional lawmakers passed Monday demanding that they increase controls.

Democratic leaders cheered Trump’s announcement, saying they supported $ 2,000 checks, noting that Republicans had blocked previous proposals with larger checks.

“We’ve been trying to get checks for $ 2,000 for months, but Republicans blocked it,” tweeted Senate Leader Chuck Schumer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would organize a vote to increase the amount.

This leaves the next step to McConnell, who has been pushing for a smaller stimulus package for months and rejecting Democratic proposals for $ 1,200 checks.

He now has two unwanted options:

  • He can give in and accept a bigger stimulus figure after months of fighting to keep it low.
  • He can block the bigger checks and take the political heat for them.

It’s worth noting that even if Trump vetoed the spending bill – which he didn’t explicitly threaten to do in his video – Congress could enforce it by overriding the veto.

But that could be politically damaging, and there’s no guarantee that Congressional math will remain the same in light of Trump’s new demand.

One of the reasons McConnell fears a backlash for holding the checks at $ 600 is the second election to Georgia ‘s two senate seats, which the GOP must hold to maintain control of the chamber.

The New York Times reported last week that McConnell supported the inclusion of stimulus controls in the package after hearing that opposition to them hurt the Senate’s campaigns in Georgia.

Schumer called out to McConnell on Twitter on Tuesday. ‘I participate. What are you saying, Mitch? ‘ he said. “Let’s not get bogged down in ideological compensations and unrelated issues and DO THIS! The American people deserve it.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat, said she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib had written an amendment that was “ready to go”.

“We can pass $ 2k checks this week if the Senate GOP agrees to resign,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

The $ 900 billion package was the product of talks with a bipartisan group of senators after months of unsuccessful negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over how much and what to spend.

Aides told The Washington Post on Tuesday that government officials have been negotiating the stimulus package in recent days without explicitly consulting Trump, adding that he was distracted by his attempts to reverse his loss in the presidential election.

Previous reports said Trump aides persuaded him to push for greater controls during the negotiations for fear of ruining the odds of a deal.

Apparently they only managed to put the question off – and create an acute problem for his own party.

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