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Stimulus increase stalls in Senate

Posted at 5:14 AM, Dec 30, 2020

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The U.S. Treasury said $600 direct payments to Americans began heading to bank accounts Tuesday evening as talks over increasing the amount to $2,000 stalled in the Senate.

The stimulus package reluctantly signed by President Donald Trump provided $600 direct payments, $1,200 for couples, and $600 for every child, but the President called on lawmakers to increase the amount ahead of approving the stimulus.

Democrats pushed $2,000 direct payments through the House of Representatives, but Republican Senate President Mitch McConnell has since blocked to attempts by Democrat lawmakers to vote on the increase on the Senate floor.

Instead, McConnell has called for bundling the stimulus increase with two other Trump demands including a repeal of liability protections for social media companies and the the creation of a commission to investigate unproven claims of voter fraud.

Democrats like Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy called the move a non-starter.

"McConnell is intentionally trying to kill the $2,000 payments," Murphy said, "we are not going to be able to pass a new piece of legislation with massively complicated internet reform and a voter fraud commission in it."

In a Tweet, Trump said unless Republicans had a "death wish" they would pass the $2,000 direct payments as soon as possible.

The Treasury said direct $600 payments would be going out through the week and they would begin sending paper checks through the mail on Wednesday.