By Johnnie Rosario
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican, Kentucky), is doubling down on his refusal to allow a vote on a standalone measure that will raise a one-time stimulus payment to the American people from $600 to $2,000 per single filer ($4,000 for joint filers, plus $2,000 per child).
As the floor leader, Mr. McConnell has the power in the U.S. Senate to control the 100-member body's agenda. He insists on tying the stimulus deal to a federal investigation into voter fraud, and the repeal of the Communications Decency Act, which grants tech giants like Facebook and Twitter widespread immunity from civil liability.
"If specific struggling households need still more help after the huge historic package that was just signed into law four days ago has taken effect, then what they will need is smart, smart, targeted aid, not another firehouse of borrowed money that encompasses other people who are doing just fine," the Kentucky millionaire whom taxpayers have continued paying a six-figure salary said.
"Here's the deal: The Senate is not going to split apart the three issues the President has linked together just because Democrats are afraid to address two of them," Mr. McConnell said. "The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money."
The future of every significant issue on the domestic front and foreign policy rests with two neck-and-neck runoff elections in Georgia for U.S. Senate seats. Both are occupied by Republican incumbents. If both lose, the Senate will be split between the parties, 50-50, and incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, will be able to break tie votes in favor of her party. Mr. McConnell will lose his power. And with the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House in Democrat control, Republicans will be neutered in their present ability to control the federal budget, assert conservative dominion over the federal judiciary, and stop gun control.
The nightmare scenario for Republicans has not been lost on President Trump, who tweeted two days ago, "Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2,000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!"
Within hours of that tweet, both U.S. Senators from Georgia - David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler - announced their support for the $2,000 stimulus payments.
The federal stimulus increase, which already passed the House, hasn't just received pressure from the top, including the unlikely alliance between Mr. Trump and his harshest critics - Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Sen. Bernie Sanders. A groundswell of pressure now is coming from state party and elected officials from both parties.
Guam Democrats tell Guam Republicans to get vocal and support Trump
In a twist of political irony that nearly rivals the humor of #hilariagate, Guam Democrats are imploring Guam Republican officials to get behind Republican President Trump on this issue.
"Over the course of the last week, President Trump has demonstrated that we must do better for all Americans, ensuring that we provide assistance to those who need it," wrote Democratic Party of Guam chairwoman Sarah Thomas Nededog to her GOP counterpart Tony Ada. "Given the toll associated with COVID-19, it is reasonable that each American be provided a $2,000 cash assistance. Upon the President’s push to provide much needed relief, Democrats in the House expeditiously introduced and passed H.R. 9051, the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Help (CASH) Act of 2020."
Ms. Nededog pointed out Mr. McConnell's obstruction, and defended the free speech rights of Americans that are protected under the Communications Decency Act.
"In the Spirit of the Christmas Season we hope that under your leadership, the Republican Party of Guam can once again advocate for the good of the People of Guam to your counterparts in Washington," Ms. Nededog wrote to Mr. Ada.
Republican Sen. Jim Moylan, who is rumored to have been elected by the Republican caucus of the incoming 36th Guam Legislature as minority leader, told Kandit News he supports the President's call for $2,000 payments and said he hopes national Republican leaders in the Senate understand the struggle the everyday American is facing.