Mitch McConnell glares from under a mask.

Mitch McConnell Wants To Tie $2000 Stimulus Checks To Donald Trump’s Weird Personal Twitter Vendetta

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Some people have already started receiving their $600 coronavirus stimulus checks but the fight for larger $2,000 checks isn’t over. It has, however, stalled in the Senate, thanks to Mitch McConnell.

On Tuesday, a bill to increase the direct payments to $2,000 passed in the House with major bipartisan support. Democrats in the Senate have called on McConnell to hold a vote on the bill, but he has so far refused.

There have been a number of Senate Republicans who have said that they would support the bill—most notably, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who are facing critical runoff elections in Georgia. I guess there’s no more surefire way to lose an election than to come out against putting $1400 in people’s pockets the week before people go to the polls.

Now McConnell has introduced new legislation that would combine the increased payments with two of Donald Trump’s personal points of passion: his weird campaign to be able to sue Twitter over mean tweets and trying to prove that the last election was stolen by Democrats via voter fraud, despite having yet to be able to provide literally any evidence at all.

From CNN:

The Kentucky Republican, shortly before adjourning the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, introduced a bill that would combine increased direct payments with a repeal of the online liability protections known as Section 230 and the establishment of a commission to study voter fraud. The latter two issues have been significant drivers of Trump’s ire in the wake of his general election loss — the latter of which with zero evidence presented to this point.

Along with demanding larger payments, Trump told lawmakers to cut the “pork” out of their original bill last week. Republicans had also been complaining about the inclusion of foreign aid in the funding package.

I wonder how they feel about tying two completely unrelated points regarding the election and the tech industry to what is supposed to be a porkless COVID-19 relief bill.

The Senate was supposed to vote Wednesday to override Trump’s veto of their defense spending bill but Bernie Sanders promised to draw that process out unless McConnell committed to holding a vote on the COVID relief bill as well.

“McConnell and the Senate want to expedite the override vote and I understand that. But I’m not going to allow that to happen unless there is a vote, no matter how long that takes, on the $2,000 direct payment,” Sanders said in an interview on Monday.

Sanders can’t stop the veto vote, but he can drag it out until Friday. Having to stay in D.C. through New Year’s Day isn’t just inconvenient for lawmakers, but it could seriously mess up Loeffler and Perdue’s last-minute campaign plans in Georgia. Making everything even more urgent and confusing, the new class of lawmakers elected in November get sworn in this Sunday.

All this because Mitch McConnell doesn’t want people to have an extra $1400 during a pandemic, at the holidays.

(image: Cheriss May/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.