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Senator Bernie Sanders says he AGREES with Trump’s demands to increase stimulus checks to $2,000

Bernie Sanders has voiced his support for President Trump‘s demands to increase COVID-19 stimulus checks to $2,000 after threatening to hold the Senate through New Year’s Day if a vote is not held on the measure soon. 

The Democratic Senator weighed in on the long-awaited relief bill, the fate of which still remains uncertain after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed new legislation late Tuesday that coupled the $2,000 checks with the full repeal of Section 230 and a probe of election fraud.    

The move came after Trump lashed out at McConnell for blocking Democrats’ efforts to quickly pass the relief check legislation which had increased the $600 payments proposed in a bill last week. 

Sanders, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination in the presidential race earlier this year, on Tuesday admitted he was on Trump’s side when it came to distributing the relief checks. 

Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday said he agreed with Trump on ‘the need’ for $2,000 stimulus checks

‘As somebody who disagrees with Trump on everything, I’ve got to say he’s right on the need for this $2,000 check and I hope the Republican leadership listens to him,’ Sanders told CNN’s Jim Acosta. 

Trump last week had suggested he would veto the $900billion relief package passed by Congress last Monday unless checks are tripled from $600 to $2,000 – a move widely supported by Democrats and some Republicans. 

However, McConnell’s new combination bill – which includes the higher payments – is being seen as a ‘poison pill’ that is doomed for failure and subsequently continue to prolong financial relief to Americans. 

Despite supporting Trump’s plans to increase the checks, Sanders made clear he opposed the decision to include the two other provisions added to the bill – both of which were desired by the president – arguing that those issues were not a priority. 

‘We can separate those issues. Do we want to take a look at Section 230? It’s an important issue. Yeah we should, there’s a way to do that. Not now,’ Sanders said. 

‘There are issues there [with voter suppression] we can discuss it. But right now, the issue on everybody’s mind is how do I survive? How do I feed my kids? How do I not get evicted?

‘So what we have got to do is just demand that McConnell bring forth a clean House bill.’ 

Followed by a staffer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, leaves the Capitol for the day, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Followed by a staffer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, leaves the Capitol for the day, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Senator Bernie Sanders threatened to filibuster another vote to override Trump's veto of the widely-supported National Defense Authorization Act in protest of McConnell not taking up a vote on the checks – the move would hold the Senate in session until New Year's Day

Senator Bernie Sanders threatened to filibuster another vote to override Trump’s veto of the widely-supported National Defense Authorization Act in protest of McConnell not taking up a vote on the checks – the move would hold the Senate in session until New Year’s Day

'Unless Republicans have a death wish... they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP,' Trump tweeted, adding: '$600 IS NOT ENOUGH!'

‘Unless Republicans have a death wish… they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP,’ Trump tweeted, adding: ‘$600 IS NOT ENOUGH!’

Sanders said he couldn’t guarantee Democrats will win the vote, but expressed they had a ‘damn good shot’ at winning once its brought to the Senate floor. 

‘What must happen now in the Senate, what I’m fighting for, is to make sure that clean bill -the bill that was passed in the House – comes to the Senate. And frankly between you and me, I think we have the votes to pass it. That’s what the American people want,’ Sanders added. 

Trump earlier slammed Republicans for blocking the effort, claiming they had a ‘death wish’ for opposing the measure. 

‘Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!’ the president warned on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. 

Trump lashed out at the Senate Republican Leader on Tuesday for blocking Democrats’ efforts to quickly pass the $2,000 relief check legislation, claiming Republicans in Congress have a ‘death wish’ for opposing the measure.

‘Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!’ the president warned on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

He also said the GOP has to stop Democrats from ‘stealing’ the election and demanded, as part of his continued objection to the National Defense Authorization Act, that Congress act to toss out legal liability protections for ‘big tech.’

President Donald Trump lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday for blocking Democrats' request to quickly pass a bill increasing direct checks for Americans from $600 to $2,000

President Donald Trump lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday for blocking Democrats’ request to quickly pass a bill increasing direct checks for Americans from $600 to $2,000

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer requested unanimous consent Tuesday on the payment increase measure, which was overwhelmingly passed in the House Monday evening

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer requested unanimous consent Tuesday on the payment increase measure, which was overwhelmingly passed in the House Monday evening

‘Also, get rid of Section 230 – Don’t let Big Tech steal our Country, and don’t let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough!’ Trump tweeted to Republicans.

McConnell stopped Schumer’s request Tuesday for unanimous consent to quickly pass sending $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans rather than the $600 already included in the recently-signed coronavirus relief bill.

Sanders threatened to hold the Senate through New Year’s Day if a vote is not held on the measure to send out increased payments. With his objection he put a hold on vote to override the veto of the defense bill.  

The showdown over the $2,000 checks has thrown Congress into a chaotic year-end session just days before new lawmakers are set to be sworn into office for the new year. 

It’s preventing action on another priority – overturning Trump’s veto on a sweeping defense bill that has been approved every year for 60 years.

Saying little, McConnell signaled an alternative approach to Trump’s checks that may not divide his party so badly, but may result in no action at all.

The GOP leader filed new legislation late Tuesday linking the president’s demand for bigger checks with two other Trump priorities – repealing protections for tech companies like Facebook or Twitter that the president complained are unfair to conservatives as well the establishment of a bipartisan commission to review the 2020 presidential election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.

‘The Senate will begin a process,’ the GOP leader said. He said little more, only that he would bring the president’s demand for the $2,000 checks and other remaining issues ‘into focus.’

The president’s last-minute push for bigger checks leaves Republicans deeply split between those who align with Trump’s populist instincts and those who adhere to what had been more traditional conservative views against government spending. 

Congress had settled on smaller $600 payments in a compromise over the big, year-end relief bill Trump reluctantly signed into law.

Liberal senators led by Sanders who support the relief aid are blocking action on the defense bill until a vote can be taken on Trump’s demand for $2,000 for most Americans.

‘The working class of this country today faces more economic desperation than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s,’ Sanders said as he also tried to force a vote on the relief checks. ‘Working families need help now.’ But McConnell objected a second time.

The GOP blockade is causing turmoil for some as the virus crisis worsens nationwide and Trump amplifies his unexpected demands. 




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