Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have both come out in support of an increase in COVID-19 checks from $600 to $2,000, hoping it will boost them on the Jan. 5 runoff election, but GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had other ideas.
Instead of allowing a vote on the House’s COVID-19 stimulus bill, which received support from the president and some Republican representatives for its direct payment increases, McConnell blocked the Democrats and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer from unanimously passing the bill in exchange for the introduction of his newer bill that promises $2,000 checks to qualifying Americans but asks for Democrats’ highly unlikely support of repealing Section 230 carveouts for big tech companies and a commission investigating election fraud.
McConnell also prioritized overturning President Donald Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act. Despite filibuster and delay threats from Sen. Bernie Sanders limiting the Georgia senators’ ability to campaign in the election’s final days, the majority leader apparently sees as NDAA authorization as more beneficial in the GOP’s attempts to keep control of the Senate.
While McConnell has repeatedly expressed support for the Perdue and Loeffler campaigns, even previously claiming that delaying yet another bill handing Americans debt-supplied money regardless of need could hurt the GOP’s efforts to keep the Senate majority, the leader shut down the expensive relief bill to focus on the NDAA.
The NDAA, however, does not seem to be as high of a priority as stimulus checks for Perdue and Loeffler. Not only have the senators circumvented questions on how they will vote on McConnell’s veto override campaign for the NDAA, but the GOP incumbents quickly jumped on the $2,000 payment bandwagon on Tuesday and publicly stated they backed President Donald Trump‘s calls for more checks to Americans, which helps keep governors from ending lockdowns.
“I’ve stood by the president 100 percent of the time,” Loeffler said on Fox News. “I’m proud to do that, and I’ve said, absolutely, we need to get relief to Americans now, and I will support that.”
“President @realdonaldtrump is right — I support this push for $2,000 in direct relief for the American people,” Perdue wrote on Twitter.
— David Perdue (@Perduesenate) December 29, 2020