WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — With just days left before the new congress is sworn in, the Senate still has to address the defense bill and the possibility of a $2,000 stimulus check.
“People are frightened to death that they are going to be evicted from their homes,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said.
In a rare New Year’s Eve session, Sanders accused Senate Republicans of holding the bill to bump stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 hostage.
“All that I am asking Senator McConnell is give us the vote; what is the problem?” Sanders asked.
“Socialism for rich people. That is what Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Sanders have sketched out,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
McConnell says the bill would send thousands of dollars to people who don’t need it.
“Washington Democrats took President Trump’s suggestion and secured it so skewed so the checks would benefit high-earning households,” McConnell said.
Instead, McConnell supports a bill combining the stimulus boost with several other of Trump’s priorities.
“The Republican leader claims the president insists that all three issues must be addressed in one bill. But of course the president has made no such demand,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Schumer says combining the issues will just kill the checks completely. He proposed Thursday the Senate vote on each issue — one at a time.
“That way $2,000 checks could become law, and we could debate all the president’s supposed concerns,” Schumer said.
If the Senate makes any changes or additions to the House bill, like McConnell is proposing, the House would be required to vote again. They aren’t planning to return before the current congressional session ends on Sunday.