One member of the U.S. Senate who caucuses with Democrats has a plan to jam up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over increased direct aid -- and it is also designed to help oust the GOP leader.
On Monday, Trump was abandoned by Republicans on two major votes: increasing direct financial aid from $600 to $2000 and overriding Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Both bills are now headed to the Senate, where Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has vowed to filibuster the Pentagon funding bill until McConnell allows a vote on the additional direct aid.
Beyond hoping to increase the amount of aid, a source close to Sanders revealed a secondary motivation in an interview with Politico.
"Under Senate rules, Sanders has the ability to keep the chamber in during the holiday week and likely mess with the campaign schedules of Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). Those two face Jan. 5 runoff races for control of the Senate against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who are both campaigning on the $2,000 checks," Politico reported.
"A source close to Sanders said the Senate races were a factor in his decision — part of a bid to keep Perdue and Loeffler in D.C. and focus the campaign on their position regarding the $2,000 checks. Sanders also threatened to shut down the government earlier this month if the coronavirus relief bill did not include direct payments; ultimately it included checks of up to $600 and the government stayed open, though now Trump wants to go much higher," Politico noted.
Both of the Democrats in the races are running on $2,000 aid, which is also supported by President-elect Joe Biden.
Donald Trump has demanded $2,000 relief checks. House Democrats are voting for $2,000 relief checks today.… https://t.co/I11RUH8Q3E— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@Reverend Raphael Warnock) 1609178440.0
House Democrats are voting for $2,000 relief checks today — and Donald Trump supports it. @Perduesenate, when will… https://t.co/SXiZd74zJj— Jon Ossoff (@Jon Ossoff) 1609179490.0
Asked if he supports the $2k direct COVID-19 relief payments, President-elect Joe Biden says “Yes.” https://t.co/VjaPCU7UEK— Tim Perry (@Tim Perry) 1609187223.0