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Trump's call for $2,000 checks blocked by Senate leader

Trump's call for $2,000 checks blocked by Senate leader

January 4, 2021: Larger direct payments of $2,000 looked all but doomed as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not separate the checks from unrelated demands from President Donald Trump.

“The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues that President Trump linked together just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them,” he said on the Senate floor.

The Democratic-held House has approved a stand-alone bill to boost the checks to $2,000 from $600, as 44 Republicans prodded by Trump joined nearly all Democrats in backing the measure.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to call up a vote on the stand-alone bill to send more significant payments for the second straight day. He said, “the only way to get the American people the $2,000 checks they deserve and need is to pass the House bill, and pass it now.” McConnell again rejected his request.

Congress agreed to the smaller $600 payments in a COVID-19 relief and government funding bill that Mr. Trump sent back to Capitol Hill before Christmas, with the president seeking higher stimulus payments.

Trump has demanded more money but signed the original bill with lesser payments on Sunday.

“Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2,000 payments ASAP,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Democrats react in a very unexpected way. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said: “What we see right now is leader McConnell trying to kill the checks, the $2,000 checks desperately needed by so many American families.”

 “These Republicans in the Senate seem to have an endless tolerance for other people’s sadness.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.


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