WASHINGTON: US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected again to hold a vote on a standalone bill to boost stimulus checks to $2,000 for individuals from $600, which had been approved by the Democrats-held House of Representatives.
"Washington Democrats took President Trump's suggestion and skewed it so the checks would benefit even more high-earning households," McConnell said on Thursday on the Senate floor, adding the COVID-19 pandemic had affected rich and poor Americans differently, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Our colleagues who purport to be the champions of vulnerable Americans now say that what struggling people really need is for Congress to stop focusing on targeted relief for them specifically, and to instead send thousands of dollars to people who don't need the help," he said.
McConnell noted that former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers also said there is "no good economic argument" for more non-targeted checks with no linkage to need.
Citing a report from The New York Times, McConnell said that a majority of the households that get non-targeted checks do not end up spending them on urgent needs, but rather, just add to their savings. McConnell's remarks came as Democrats have pressed the Senate Republican leader to hold a separate vote on a House-passed bill to increase the amount of stimulus checks. "Just give us a vote on the House-passed bill, and we can vote on whatever right-wing conspiracy theory you like," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday on the Senate floor. (IANS)