Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s attempt to unanimously pass a bill to increase direct payments in the year-end coronavirus relief package to $2,000.
The Kentucky Republican later Tuesday introduced a bill that would boost the size of the checks to $2,000 from $600, repeal Section 230 legal liability protections for internet platforms and create a commission to study election issues. The bill would meet all of President Donald Trump’s recent demands, which are unrelated, but would not get Democratic support and become law.
Through the bill, Republicans would both avoid the act of actually passing $2,000 payments but allow GOP senators running for reelection in Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoffs to express support for Trump’s priorities.
In a statement Tuesday, Schumer said if McConnell “tries loading up” the bill “with unrelated, partisan provisions that will do absolutely nothing to help struggling families across the country,” larger direct payments would not become law.
“Any move like this by Sen. McConnell would be a blatant attempt to deprive Americans of a $2,000 survival check,” he said.