Not true. There is a quick path, it’s just that McConnell doesn’t want to take it. Simply put the House bill authorizing $2,000 checks on the floor and let the Senate hold an up-or-down vote on it. That’s the path. It’s not a sure thing that it’ll get 60 votes, but six Republicans are already on record as saying they’re in favor and the political cover provided by Trump could probably get another six over the line. That’s all Schumer needs.
Cocaine Mitch won’t do it even though it’s conceivable that Senate Republicans thwarting Trump and the Dems on bigger checks will cost Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue their Senate seats on Tuesday. For all the hype during the tea-party era about McConnell being a RINO, this guy is willing to risk his own majority and the wrath of you-know-who in order to block another $500 billion in spending after Congress has already pushed trillions in COVID relief out the door this year. He’s more of a fiscal conservative than the populists are — which, admittedly, isn’t saying much.
I’m dying to know: Does the president realize that McConnell is trying to kill his proposal for bigger checks in the guise of doing Trump’s bidding?
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) December 30, 2020
Trump wants $2,000 for most adults and Section 230 repeal and an investigation into voter fraud. Great, says McConnell, we’ll do all three in one bill, knowing full well that Senate Dems aren’t going to legitimize Trump’s voter-fraud complaints by approving a probe. Would the president rather see all three of his proposals go down in flames, which is what’s about to happen? Or would he rather sacrifice Section 230 repeal and the voter-fraud probe in the name of getting $2,000 checks? All he has to do to turn the heat waaaaay up on Cocaine Mitch is tweet that McConnell should pass the House bill on checks and then offer the other two issues in a separate bill.
Instead he’s tweeting generic stuff like this:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2020
“I’m offering $2,000 checks, Mr. President,” McConnell could say, “along with the two other things you asked for. What more can I do?” Trump’s answer is right there for the taking if he wants it: Split them into separate bills. Does he want that, or would he rather he see his push for bigger checks fail?
Newt Gingrich is trying to feed Trump the answer, like a smart kid helping a less smart one cheat on an exam:
“On this one, I think, [McConnell has] frankly confused different things,” Gingrich said. “The long-term control of the U.S. Senate lies in Georgia. Both Georgia senators have endorsed the $2,000 payment that President Trump has proposed, and Mitch ought to bring it up in a clean vote.”
“But I really am very worried that if he plays it a clever parliamentary game, it may look good inside the Senate, but it could cost us two senate seats and control of the senate,” he added. “So I would beg him to bring up the $2,000 payment as a free-standing, independent vote.”
Bernie Sanders is trying to lead the president to the answer too by appealing to his vanity:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): “We have a very unlikely ally in President Trump … amazingly enough, the president of the United States is right.” pic.twitter.com/8ndbdXKihN
— The Recount (@therecount) December 30, 2020
No doubt McConnell’s looking at the prospect of voting on the House bill as another no-win proposition for his caucus. He’s already facing one of those votes next week thanks to Josh Hawley, with Senate Republicans forced to choose between MAGA fans and the rest of the country in deciding whether to accept the election results from swing states or not. Voting on a “clean” bill to boost stimulus payments to $2,000 would be another tough one, with Trump supporters demanding that the bill pass while old-school fiscal conservatives bristle at more spending. Whatever happens, some segment of the GOP base would walk away unhappy, muttering to themselves about why they ever bothered to support this party to begin with.
If Trump does end up endorsing a standalone bill on bigger checks, would McConnell cave and put the House bill on the floor or would he continue to defy POTUS? I’m imagining Trump down in Georgia on January 4, the night before the big vote, telling the audience what a lousy, treacherous skinflint the Republican Senate majority leader is — before adding that of course Georgia voters should support Loeffler and Perdue to extend Mitch’s hold on power for a few more years.
Here’s Bernie with a little straight talk about the importance of repealing Section 230 relative to the economic crisis facing Americans right now.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Do you think that all over America people are saying, 'My God, we have to repeal Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, my God, that is a major national priority'
Nobody even knows what that is." pic.twitter.com/pW3zUI4aIe
— The Hill (@thehill) December 30, 2020