U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blocked a bid by Democrats to force a quick action on beefing up direct stimulus checks to $2,000 as requested by President Donald J. Trump.
The move comes at a time Republicans are fighting to maintain control of the Senate in two Georgia runoff elections on January 5.
On Tuesday, the two Republican incumbents in Georgia senate races, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, backed the $2,000 checks. But the rejection of the bill by the GOP leader may likely spell doom for them.
McConnell objected to a motion by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to approve a higher stimulus-checks bill by unanimous consent. The bill passed the House of Representatives on Monday.
The Republican leader also blocked a motion by Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders to vote on the stimulus checks immediately after the Senate votes on overriding President Trump’s veto of the annual defense bill.
The Senate will adjourn on Sunday and a new Senate will becoming in next week.
Trump again called on the Senate on Tuesday to scale up the stimulus payments.
“$2000 for our great people, not $600! They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!” Trump tweeted.
The push is not, however, popular with Republicans, as many have indicated that they will oppose spending $464 billion on higher stimulus checks.
On Monday, only 44 Republicans joined 231 Democrats to pass a bill increasing the payments to $2,000.