At any point over the last four years, it would have seemed impossible that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump could agree on anything. The self-styled democratic socialist and the consummate capitalist were on the opposite ends of any political argument you put in front of them, and they were strictly vicious to each other at times.
But something strange has happened over the course of the last week, after President Trump put himself at odds with Senate Republicans in calling for coronavirus stimulus payments to Americans to be raised from $600 to $2,000 in the latest relief bill.
Now, in the midst of a tangle web of legislative maneuvering, Sanders is going to bat for Trump’s $2k checks…in a big way.
“McConnell and the Senate want to expedite the override vote and I understand that. But I’m not going to allow that to happen unless there is a vote, no matter how long that takes, on the $2,000 direct payment,” Sanders said in an interview on Monday night. The Vermont independent can’t ultimately stop the veto override vote, but he can delay it until New Year’s Day and make things more difficult for the GOP.
The House passed the payment boost sought by Trump and Democratic leaders on Monday evening, and Trump said the Senate has agreed to “start the process” on a stimulus checks vote when he signed the $900 billion relief bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to address the timing of such a vote.
McConnell and the Senate GOP are the odd-ones-out on this subject, with Democrats, the President, and even many House Republicans in favor of the enhanced stimulus checks.
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