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US: Republican senate leader blocks Covid relief bill

The US Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell has rejected calls of boosting the coronavirus aid resulting from an unusual alliance of President Donald Trump, congressional Democrats and some Republicans.

Mitch McConnell said elevating aid cheques from $600 to $2,000 would be “another fire hose of borrowed money”.

Congress agreed on the smaller payments of $600 for Covid relief for Americans but Trump sent it back before Christmas while seeking higher payments. In response to this, congressional Democrats passed the measure for $2,000 cheques that he requested, on Monday.

However, this intervention by Trump has divided Republicans.

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Therefore, Kentucky Republican senator rejected Senate Democrats‘ calls for the upper chamber to vote on the $2,000 cheques package.

Reacting to the passing of the bill, Mr. McConnell said on the chamber floor,

“The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help.”

Additionally, he offered to roll the proposal for $2,000 cheques into another bill to include other measures that have been requested by Mr. Trump but raised objections from Democratic leaders.

Democrats expressed their resentment by saying that Mr. McConnell’s proposal was merely a legislative poison pill designed to kill higher stimulus payments.

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