"A huge chunk would essentially be socialism for rich people," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he once again blocked a vote on the new stimulus package.
McConnell during a special New Years Day session of the Senate called the bill a "universal cash giveaway" and wants to push for more targeted aid to people who really need it.
Congress had already passed $600 checks as part of a broader $900 billion COVID 19 relief package. But President Donald Trump said he wanted larger checks. Progressive Democrats backed the President’s proposal and the Democrat controlled House of Representatives agreed and passed standalone legislation sending it to the Senate, where it was blocked.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont argued vehemently against McConnell's position, even going so far as to bring fake checks almost as big as he is showing how much support the government has given to huge corporations such as Amazon and Delta Airlines, according to Fox News.
"That is what socialism for the rich is about. Socialism for the rich is not -- in the midst of this terrible pandemic -- putting a $2,000 check into the hands of working families," said Sanders as he brandished the enormous "checks" on the Senate floor.
"I see, if I may say so, a bit of hypocrisy here," continued Sanders.
The Senate is extremely divided on the measures, and has been in constant debate about that and other important issues such as election security reform and possible methods to curb censorship and bias on the part of big tech giants, who increasingly decide what we see and don't see online.
On Friday, the Senate did reach the 2/3 vote threshold needed to override the President’s defense bill veto.
The current session of the Senate ends on Sunday, and any pending legislation would have to start again from zero in a new session in Jan. of 2021.