McConnell faced with 'nightmare' scenario if Senate is forced to vote on $2000 COVID checks: CNN

McConnell faced with 'nightmare' scenario if Senate is forced to vote on $2000 COVID checks: CNN
Sen. Mitch McConnell greets members of the 123rd Airlift Wing following a town hall meeting at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 4, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

According to CNN political analyst Chris Cillizza, the last thing Senate Republicans want to do is be forced into a vote on upping the COVID-19 aid relief checks from $600 to $2000, but that is the box that Donald Trump put them in when he made the suggestion before Christmas as he threatened to veto the aid package bill.

Grateful Democrats immediately jumped on the president's suggestion and are attempting to force a vote and, as CNN's Cillizza writes, it will likely be a "nightmare" for senators to have to vote on the record.

"It puts them in a very small box," he wrote. "Either vote to massively increase the national debt -- by giving $1,400 more to every qualifying individual in the country -- or vote against what is much-needed money for people who have been devastated by the economic effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic."

According to the CNN regular, no matter which way GOP senators vote, it will likely come back to haunt them later: either making a stand to help out desperate constituents or angering fiscally conservative voters for running up the national debt even more.

"It's a lose-lose. Bigly," he wrote. "Especially if you are Sens. Kelly Loeffler or David Perdue, both locked in tight runoff races on January 5. Both incumbent Republicans need base conservatives with them to win, so a vote for more government spending isn't a good one. But they also can't actively agitate the rest of the state -- including swing voters in the suburbs who want the government to help those struggling as much as they can. It's a nearly impossible line to walk, politically speaking."

With that in mind, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in an even bigger bind: Anger his biggest supporters by encouraging the rank and file to give away more tax dollars, or shoot down the proposal and risk losing the two seats in Georgia -- costing him his Republican-majority Senate.

As Cillizza put it: "This will be a major test for McConnell. If this winds up getting to a vote -- either on cloture (to end debate) or a final floor vote -- it is very bad news for Senate Republicans."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.