WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks was all but dead Wednesday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed an alternative approach of loading up the bill with other White House priorities that appeared destined to fail.
The roadblock mounted by Senate Republicans appears unsurmountable, even as pressure builds to approve the bigger checks. Trump wants the Republican-led chamber to follow the House and increase the checks from $600 for millions of Americans. A growing number of Republicans, including two senators in runoff elections on Jan. 5 in Georgia, agree. But most GOP senators oppose more spending, even if they are also wary of bucking Trump.
Senators will be back at it after McConnell blocked a vote Tuesday, but his new bill — which includes the formation of a commission to investigate the 2020 election as well as a complicated repeal of big tech liability protections — does not have enough support to pass.
“What we’re seeing right now is Leader McConnell trying to kill the checks — the $2,000 checks desperately needed by so many American families,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said at the Capitol.