Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted to praise President Donald Trump for acting quickly to pass COVID-19 relief and help the American people. This came as a shock to the general public for several reasons.
Senator McConnell’s tweet thanking Trump for signing the COVID-19 relief into law can be seen below. It’s a little bit of a surprise, for several reasons.
I applaud the President’s decision to get billions of dollars of crucial COVID-19 relief out the door and into the hands of American families. I am glad the American people will receive this much-needed assistance as our nation continues battling this pandemic. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/YSPYsPu2ct
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) December 28, 2020
First, Trump did not sign the bill quickly. On December 22, he released a video statement in which he declared that he wouldn’t sign unless Congress changed a number of things in the bill — including increasing the direct checks to consumers from $600 to $2000. He then went on his Christmas vacation to Mar-A-Lago, where he played golf and relaxed while Americans watched their unemployment benefits expire and legislators pleaded with the president to pass aid to the people.
Though Democrats were quick to call Trump’s bluff and agree to increase direct payments, Congressional Republicans refused, and the bill languished over Christmas.
Moreover, McConnell praising the quick passage of direct relief to the people is a reversal in itself, when he has prided himself for his desk being the place bills go to die, and has specifically refused to move legislation that the Democratic-controlled House passed in the Spring that would have included $1200 direct payments to taxpayers.
Of course, McConnell is working with a different set of motives in these last days before the Georgia Senate runoff elections that will determine whether or not he continues as Majority Leader — he’s reportedly very concerned about political activity that could make Republicans look unappealing to voters before that date.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com