While American citizens continue to wait for a second round of stimulus checks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is planning to hold a vote on his new stimulus bill this week. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has slammed the vote as merely a "stunt." The $500 billion "skinny" bill has already been rejected by Democrats, but McConnell intends to get the stimulus vote in before the Senate votes on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
According to The Hill, when asked about the bill, Schumer said he couldn't comment on any specifics because "we just don’t know what [McConnell] plans to do" with it. He did go on to call the bill "inadequate, just up and down the line," and added that it's a "sham." As for why he thinks McConnell is rushing a vote on the bill, Schumer said that the Senate Majority Leader is "tied in a knot" due to "divisions in his own caucus." This is because some Republicans want to spend less on the next coronavirus relief bill, and others — such as President Donald Trump — want to spend more.
I just announced the Senate will vote next week on hundreds of billions more dollars for relief programs that Democrats do not even oppose. Working families have already waited too long for Speaker Pelosi’s Marie Antoinette act to stop. Let's make law. pic.twitter.com/iR7OYKuCKw— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 17, 2020
Notably, one of the biggest things missing from McConnell's bill is the second round of stimulus checks that many citizens are hoping for. The White House previously drafted its own proposal — with a $1.8 billion price tag — that did include stimulus payments, but it was met with criticism from both Democrat and Republican leaders. United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have met and spoken multiple times over the past several weeks, but no deal has been reached regarding the next stimulus bill.
The divide over stimulus checks has had many Americans angry and demanding that lawmakers work out their differences and come to an agreement on a bill. "People took a pay cut and took on extra expenses that they didn't realize they needed [like child care]," said nursing home administrator Christopher Linton, a 25-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, while speaking to Yahoo News. "Twelve hundred dollars would do a lot for a lot of different people in a lot of different industries. … The country is a hard place to live in as it is, and this puts people in a worse position than they were in."