CBS19, KATHRYN YOUNG
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Democrats’ push to immediately bring President Donald Trump’s demand for $2,000 stimulus checks up for a vote, saying the chamber would “begin a process” to address the issue.
In the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7th) voted in favor of $2,000 checks, along with all other Democratic Virginia Representatives and Republican Denver Riggleman (VA-5th).
The COVID-19 relief bill that previously passed both chambers of Congress was signed by Trump this past weekend. Now, the House has passed another measure that would increase the size of the direct payments.
The bill already passed by Congress offers a weekly pandemic jobless benefit boost, Paycheck Protection Program grants for businesses, and increased access to SNAP benefits.
“For those who headed into the holidays experiencing unthinkable loss of loved ones because of this pandemic, the last thing they should have been worried about is whether or not the government is going to shut down, or whether or not they were going to be able to put food on the table, but those are the real-life experiences that people are facing and so I am relieved that we have delivered on this relief bill,” said Spanberger. “I look forward to hopefully seeing a vote on additional stimulus checks in the United States Senate.”
Spanberger says she hopes McConnell will bring the bill up on the Senate floor for a vote so Senators can decide on the $2,000 checks themselves.
“If he doesn’t think it will pass, then let it get a vote and let it fail in the Senate, which is absolutely a possibility, or let it pass, which is also a possibility, and so I would question why he wouldn’t choose to just leave it up to the United States Senate, to those Senators, to make that decision based on the needs of their states and the priorities they do or do not maintain,” she said.
Both of the senators from Georgia, who are Republicans, are up for re-election. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler expressed support for the bill.
A communications staff member for Senator Tim Kaine says there is not a time for a vote set yet because McConnell blocked the Democratic request to vote on the measure, but Kaine is “eager to vote yes on it.”