A bill to increase the amount of recently passed stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 was blocked for a third day in a row in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked an effort by Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to try to schedule a vote on the House-passed bill.
The back-and-forth on the floor comes after McConnell signaled on Wednesday that the Senate would not pass the House bill, warning that they were not going to “split” increasing the checks from repealing Section 230, a legal shield used by tech companies, and a commission on the 2020 election.
McConnell, on Thursday, teed off against the House bill, characterizing it as “socialism for rich people” because under the House-passed bill some higher income households who hadn’t been expected to get a payment under the $2.3 trillion deal could be eligible.
“Our colleagues who purport to be the champions of vulnerable Americans now say that what struggling people really need is for Congress to stop focusing on targeted relief for them specifically and to instead send thousands of dollars to people who don’t need help,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.
“We do not need to let the Speaker of the House do socialism for rich people in order to help those who need help,” McConnell added.
Under the Senate’s rules, any one senator can try to set up a vote or pass a bill, but any one senator can block it. McConnell also blocked the House-passed bill on Tuesday and Wednesday.