Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) decision on Friday put another bump in the road for the newly expected 200$ stimulus check. Long story short, he refused to allow a vote in the chamber on the House-passed CASH Act, a bill that would’ve increased the second round of stimulus checks from the previously sent $600 to $2,000.
McConnell has vigorously resisted the idea, describing the act as “socialism for the rich.”
But the relief checks are widely popular with Americans, who view any extra cash as a much needed salve for the financial hardships they COVID19 pandemic generated .
“I hope that every American who has their water or heat or electricity shut off, or had eviction notices stapled on top of one another to their door, or had to choose what meal to skip on a given day, I hope they all heard the reason they will not receive $2,000 checks,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in response to McConnell’s rejection of the additional relief.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tried to bring the issue to a head again Friday when he objected to moving forward with a vote to override President Trump’s veto of a defense spending bill until McConnell allowed a vote on the $2,000 relief payments.
But McConnell blocked the vote on COVID relief.
Critics have argued the CASH Act doesn’t target the people who need the money the most, with Senate lead Mitch McConnell stating the bill would “send thousands of dollars to people who don’t need the help.” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) described the effort as as “a shotgun approach where a rifle makes a lot more sense.”
There isn’t much time for a change of heart.
The current session of Congress ends at noon on Sunday. At that point, the CASH Act and all other pending bills will expire.
Meanwhile, the the IRS has already started sending out the $600 checks. If a deal to increase payments to $2,000 is reached, the tax agency stated it would eventually send out another payment for the additional amount to anyone who already received a $600 check.