“Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2,000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter, his favored social media platform.
Trump posted after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked an attempt to pass a bill that would up the checks from $600 to $2,000.
McConnell did not explain why he blocked the legislation, known as the CASH Act. The House passed the bill late Monday, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) made the request for unanimous consent from fellow senators.
A unanimous consent request avoids a recorded vote, but a request can be blocked by a single senator.
Forty-four Republican members joined Democrats in voting for the act in the House. With all Senate Democrats supporting the bill, 12 Republican senators are required to pass it, if it comes to a vote. Five so far have said they support it, including Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Trump called for $2,000 checks shortly after Congress passed the $900 billion package containing the direct payments last week. Democrats quickly voiced support, but McConnell has declined to endorse the plan. Trump delayed signing the package but eventually did so, while asking Congress to ask for the increased payments, to examine liability protections for technology companies and the amount of foreign aid, and to start an investigation into voter fraud.
He said he was sending back “a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.”
In his tweet Tuesday, Trump wrote: “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!”
McConnell and other Republican leaders in the Senate have declined to back Trump in his quest to challenge election results. McConnell began referring to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as the “president-elect” after electors met in their states and cast ballots earlier this month.
Speaking on the Senate floor before he blocked Schumer’s request, McConnell noted that the president highlighted several issues he wants Congress to tackle.
“Those are the three important subjects the President has linked together,” he said. “This week, the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus.”