McConnell makes the best argument for electing Democrats in Georgia
The Post reports, McConnell "on Tuesday blocked consideration of a House bill that would deliver $2,000 stimulus payments to most Americans — spurning a request by President Trump even as more Senate Republicans voiced support for the dramatically larger checks.”
Later on Tuesday, McConnell set up votes on a bill for the $2,000 checks that included a commission on (nonexistent) voting fraud and total repeal of the exemption for Internet companies from material others post. (The latter, ironically, might knock the current president off social media.) This was plainly a ploy to give Republican cover to vote for a bill with the $2,000 that would never pass.
As this drags out, one thing is crystal clear to voters: “Democrats are pushing for an up-or-down vote on the House bill, while more Republicans acknowledge a need for larger stimulus checks.” So what is the problem? McConnell.
So far, a flock of Republican senators including Marco Rubio of Florida, Josh Hawley of Missouri and both Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia say they want to vote for the larger stimulus checks. McConnell will not let them. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) made clear on Tuesday: “We should not adjourn until the Senate holds a vote on both measures: the [National Defense Authorization Act] veto override and the House bill to provide $2,000 checks for the American people.” He stressed, “As we all know, the Majority Leader controls the schedule on the floor, so Leader McConnell holds the key to unlocking this dilemma.” McConnell punted, denying the motion for immediate consideration of the bill for $2,000 checks.
The question for Loeffler and Perdue is twofold. Why have they opposed any stimulus bill for nine months? They seem to acknowledge they were wrong, and people are suffering and need help. It is not clear why voters should reelect lawmakers who could not see the obvious need for payments, so it is also fair to also ask them: Since everyone agrees $2,000 is a good idea, wouldn’t it better to have a Democratic majority, which has pleaded for larger checks and is ready to vote for them immediately?
I rarely quote President Trump without intent to denounce him, but here he is right: “Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “$600 IS NOT ENOUGH!” Yet again, Republicans have demonstrated (as they did in attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act) their remarkable preference for staking their political lives on measures that are both bad policy and terrible politics.
In agreeing to the $2,000 checks, Loeffler and Perdue signaled they are in a politically precarious position. Perdue’s opponent, Democrat Jon Ossoff, sounded almost giddy:
Raphael Warnock, Loeffler’s Democratic challenger, chimed in:
It is far from clear who McConnell thinks he is protecting by refusing a simple up-or-down vote. His right-wing members who still do not want to give Americans any money? The right-wing activists who have not cared about deficits for four years?
Whatever his rationale and whatever Trump’s motives (Revenge? Hunger for approval?), Republicans have now made clear which party cares about suffering Americans. Moreover, Trump and other Republicans pushing for larger checks have jettisoned any complaint about the incoming Biden administration’s spending proposals. They are eager to vote for more spending, regardless of the impact on the deficit."