The growing divide between incumbent President Donald Trump and Republicans in the U.S. Congress widened on Wednesday as the Senate neared overturning a Trump veto and Republican leaders rejected his 2000 stimulus check proposal dollars for Americans.
In a brace, the Senate voted by an overwhelming majority, 80 to 12, to begin overturning President Donald Trump’s veto on the annual US defense clearance. The action set up a final vote to overturn Trump’s veto on New Years Day.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have also broken with Trump by rejecting his proposal to increase upcoming economic stimulus checks to eligible U.S. citizens from $ 600 to $ 2,000 per person.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told the Senate that a bill passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, which sought to meet fellow Republican Trump’s demands for bigger checks, “has no way realistic to quickly pass the Senate. “
“We just approved almost a trillion dollars in aid a few days ago,” he said.
Congress passed a nearly $ 900 billion COVID-19 relief bill earlier this month, including checks for $ 600 to individuals. Increasing these payments to $ 2,000 would cost approximately $ 464 billion.
The defense clearance bill that Trump sent to Congress on December 23 provides for a pay rise for US troops, sets Pentagon policies, and sets out key weapons system goals for the coming year , among other provisions.
Trump had opposed several elements included in legislation by members of Congress to limit his plans to redeploy US troops stationed abroad and force the Pentagon to remove the names of Confederate generals from military bases.
It would be the first time in Trump’s four-year presidency that Congress has overturned the president’s veto and would mark the end of this congressional session just two days before the new Congress is sworn in on Jan.3.
Trump had signed the COVID-19 relief bill reluctantly, saying direct aid of $ 600 to Americans suffering from unemployment, hunger and deportation during the pandemic was paltry.
McConnell suggested Republicans would be willing to consider “smart targeted aid, not another shot of borrowed money.”
The split between Republicans over stimulus checks presents a potential political risk as two outgoing Republican U.S. senators in George fight for re-election against Democratic challengers.
Senators David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler, who had opposed higher payments, changed their stance yesterday and joined Trump in defending the $ 2,000 checks.
“Senate Republicans risk losing two seats and control of the Senate,” Newt Gingrich, a former Republican congressional leader, told Fox News.
He called on Senate Republicans to “pull themselves together and not try to play nice parliamentary games with the president’s $ 2,000 payment.”
But Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill he thought Congress unlikely to act to increase the checks given McConnell’s remarks, Reuters news agency reported.
When asked if he expected Republicans to face a political backlash, Cornyn replied, “No, not in a normal world,” noting that Congress had already approved billions of dollars in relief for an economy hit by the pandemic.
Trump had stepped up pressure on his fellow Republicans to back bigger COVID-19 stimulus checks for struggling Americans in a series of tweets in recent days.
“$ 2000 ASAP!” Trump wrote on Twitter early Wednesday. The tweet prompted one of Trump’s political opponents, Senator Bernie Sanders, to trick Republicans by displaying the president’s words on a poster during the Senate debate. ground.
Bernie Sanders reading Trump’s tweets in the Senate.
There didn’t seem to be a break in the space-time continuum. https://t.co/JkDyxCK4uY
– Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) December 30, 2020
The House of Representatives overturned Trump’s veto on the defense bill on December 28.
Late Tuesday, the Senate leader introduced a bill combining checks for $ 2,000 with provisions removing some legal protections for social media companies and calling for a study of election security, a key issue for Trump.
The parliamentary maneuver seemed designed to kill prospects for all three issues.
On Tuesday, the president called Republican leaders “pathetic” and accused the party of having a “death wish” if it did not support increased stimulus payments or remove legal protections from companies. social media.
Republicans in Congress have largely remained loyal to Trump for four turbulent years, but the president is sorry he failed to fully support his allegations of voter fraud.
Cracks in Trump’s relationship with Republican lawmakers began to appear after McConnell, the top Republican in Congress, admitted that Trump’s rival Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.
President-elect Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated on January 20.