Sen. Schumer asks for 'yes or no' vote on $2,000 stimulus
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., hit the Senate floor Thursday pushing back on the majority leader's refusal to allow a vote on the House-passed bill allowing $2,000 stimulus checks.
"Just give us a vote on the House-passed bill, and we can vote on whatever right-wing conspiracy theory you like," Schumer threw at Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Thursday.
MCCONNELL SAYS 'NO REALISTIC PATH' FOR $2G STIMULUS CHECKS, ACCUSES DEMS OF 'TRYING TO PULL A FAST ONE'
The New York senator called on his Kentucky colleague to allow the Senate to vote separately on the three issues McConnell has combined into one bill. The majority leader has said that President Trump wants the stimulus checks, repeal of Section 230 and a congressional commission to review voter fraud, passed in one package.
"President Trump couldn’t care less about how the bills are packaged in Congress," Schumer said Thursday. "The Republican leader [McConnell] has invented an excuse to prevent a clean up-and-down yes and no vote on $2,000 checks coming to the floor."
Schumer claimed McConnell’s refusal to vote on the issues separately was because he "intended to kill the possibility of $2,000 checks ever becoming law."
GOP senators took heat from the president after passing the latest stimulus package that included $600 stimulus checks, a figure Republican lawmakers refused to increase despite Democrat calls for $1,200 checks.
Trump called the sum "ridiculously low" in a late-night address last week. He called on Congress to pass a new round of checks and deliver it to his desk by Sunday before the new Congress enters office – a challenge looking increasingly unlikely.
Schumer said that he and his fellow Democrats were willing to vote on repealing Section 230 – a policy under the 1996 Communications Decency Act that protects tech companies from content posted on their websites by third parties or users.
The president has called Section 230 "a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity." He has taken issue with the law that he believes unfairly protects social media giants like Twitter and Facebook.
"Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!" Trump tweeted Tuesday.
"Also, get rid of Section 230 – Don’t let Big Tech steal our Country, and don’t let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough!" he wrote.
Schumer pushed for the Senate to vote on repealing Section 230 by using McConnell’s "own language," but claimed the majority leader wouldn’t support the vote because "he knows his caucus wouldn’t actually support such an act."
"Let’s be very clear, there is one way, and only one way, to pass $2,000 checks before the end of the year. And that’s to pass the House bill. It’s the only way to get the American people the checks they need and deserve," Schumer said.
The House passed legislation earlier this week that would increase the $600 stimulus checks in the $900 billion package Trump signed Sunday, by $1,400.
The issue over stimulus checks has not only increased partisan infighting in Congress as the year draws to a close but also within the Republican Party.
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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., have crossed party lines to say they support increasing the stimulus checks to $2,000. But McConnell dismissed the calls for increased checks as a ploy for Democrats to employ "socialism for rich people" – a remark that infuriated Schumer.
"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," Schumer said in a heated Senate floor address Thursday.
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