No surprises here: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said there’s “no realistic path” forward to passing $2,000 stimulus checks in the Senate.
McConnell spoke out against the legislation, which the House passed last week, in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday. “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.
McConnell’s referring to the three famously inseparable issues of $2,000 checks, a repeal of online liability protections, and an investigation into false claims of voter fraud, the latter two being demands Trump has made, but has never expressly required to be addressed in a single bill.
McConnell has chosen to lump these asks together, making the legislation more controversial than it has to be. Absent these unnecessary additions, some Democratic senators believe they may have enough Republican votes to pass the increased stimulus payments.
“Do you think that all over America people are saying, ‘My God, we have to repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, my God, that is a major national priority’?” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said on Wednesday. Nobody even knows what that is.”
Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike love to call universal policies “unrealistic,” when in fact it lies within their power to realize them. Of course, it’s not that McConnell truly believes it’s impossible to whip the votes for $2,000 checks among his Republican colleagues—it’s that he has no desire to do so, and no interest in relieving the suffering of millions of Americans, something he laughs in the face of.
There is realistic path to passing $2,000 stimulus checks in Congress: It’s McConnell calling some Republicans on the phone, getting rid of the bill’s unrelated stipulations, and calling a vote.