Senate Majority Leader again blocked a standalone bill that would increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 on Thursday, blasting the House-passed proposal as “socialism for rich people.”
"The data show that many upper-middle class Americans have kept their jobs, work remotely and remain totally financially comfortable," McConnell said. "On the other hand, some of our fellow citizens have had their entire existences is turned upside down and continue to suffer terribly. We do not need to let the speaker of the House do socialism for rich people in order to help those who need help."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he hopes Americans in dire financial situations hear McConnell's explanation.
"I hope every American who has their water or heat or electricity shut off or had eviction notices ... heard the reason they will not receive $2,000 checks is because Leader McConnell thinks it could wind up in the hands of, quote, 'Democrats' rich friends,'" he reportedly said.
The Kentucky Republican has instead been pushing a bill that combines stimulus checks with the repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and election integrity efforts.
Schumer has criticized McConnell’s approach, saying that combining the three issues “is intended to kill the possibility of $2,000 checks ever becoming law.”
McConnell did not take the New York Democrat up on his offer to consider the three issues separately.
"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," he said Wednesday on the Senate floor. "The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats' rich friends who don't need the help."
McConnell said the legislation was structured in such a way that families of four would need to earn more than $300,000 to not qualify for more money.
“The Democratic leaders have broken from what President Trump proposed. They quietly changed his proposal in an attempt to let wealthy households suck up even more money,” he added. “And Democratic leaders want to call this scheme, quote, ‘survival checks.’ Only my friends Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Leader could look at households in New York and California who make $300,000 … in households where nobody has been laid off … where earnings did not even drop this past year … and conclude these rich constituents of theirs need ‘survival checks’ financed by taxpayer dollars and borrowed money."