Mitch McConnell officially blocked the bill to increase stimulus direct payments to $2000.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked the legislation that passed the House, earlier this week, which would immediately send $2000 direct payments to Americans.
Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images
"During this process, the President highlighted three additional issues of national significance he would like to see Congress tackle together," McConnell explained during the vote. "Those are the three important subjects the president has linked together. This week the Senate will begin a process to bring these three priorities into focus."
Sen. Chuck Schumer and the Democrats retorted by arguing that the Senate needs to pass a stand-alone vote of $2000 to get money into the hands of Americans as fast as possible before anything else can be done.
"The fastest way to get money into Americans' pockets is to send some of their tax dollars right back from where they came. Two-thousand dollar stimulus checks could mean the difference between American families having groceries for a few extra weeks or going hungry," Schumer said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders says he, along with Sen. Ed Markey, will filibuster McConnell's defense spending bill through the new year, to pressure him into passing legislation for the $2000 checks: "Today @SenMarkey and I demanded a vote on $2,000 for working people. It’s simple—no vote, no new year's break for Senators."