'No realistic path': McConnell rejects standalone $2,000 stimulus increase

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked the House-passed bill increasing stimulus checks to $2,000 on Wednesday afternoon, likely dooming the prospects of boosting direct payments as the 116th Congress comes to an end.

The Kentucky Republican said the House’s proposal is too generous for higher earners and “does not align with what President [Donald] Trump has suggested, which has no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate.”

McConnell said he will not split up a bill combining the checks with an election fraud commission and a rollback of legal protections for big tech, which he introduced on Tuesday.

The Senate will consider only “smart targeted aid, not another fire hose of borrowed money that encompasses other people who are doing just fine,” McConnell said. “The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues that President Trump linked together just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them.”

Democrats have rejected the election fraud commission and revoking the “Section 230” liability protections for tech companies.

After McConnell remarks, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked to bring up the House-passed bill that boosts the checks to $2,000. McConnell objected.

When Trump signed a $900 billion stimulus bill providing $600 checks on Sunday, he said that he wanted Congress to address election fraud, tech company’s legal protections and the larger checks. But Trump did not explicitly say they should be tied together.

On Wednesday, Trump had this to say about the stimulus check size: “$2000 ASAP!”

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