Sen. Mitch McConnell has blocked Sens. Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer's attempt to pass a stand-alone bill that would provide $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans. McConnell's decision comes hours after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 273-134. After stopping a vote on the stimulus payout increase, McConnell declined to say why he stopped the Senate from voting on the bill. However, he did suggest that he would be willing to package the stimulus increase with the repeal of a tech shield and election-related investigations.
"During this process, the president highlighted three additional issues of national significance he would like to see Congress tackle together," McConnell said.
"Those are the three important subjects the President has linked together. This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus."
While Donald Trump and McConnell may be interested in adding two more measures to the stimulus increase, Democrats may not be willing to budge. Sen. Chuck Schumer has remained tied to his argument that the stimulus increase must be passed through immediately.
"The fastest way to get money into Americans' pockets is to send some of their tax dollars right back from where they came. Two-thousand dollar stimulus checks could mean the difference between American families having groceries for a few extra weeks or going hungry," Schumer said.
"The leaders of our country, President Trump, President-elect Biden, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are all in agreement. We have got to raise the direct payments to $2,000," Sanders added.
It is unclear when or if the next vote on a stimulus increase may come.
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