Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to have a clean vote on the $2,000 stimulus checks is quickly turning into a time bomb that could blow up the GOP’s chances of retaining its majority in the upper chamber if additional funds are not approved.
McConnell’s suicidal mission ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff elections in Georgia could cost the GOP and tilt the balance of power in the upper chamber toward Democrats.
Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) will face off against Democrats John Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who are in favor of the $2,000 legislation and can attack Mitch McConnell for the next six days.
President Trump is pushing Congress to pass the additional $2,000 stimulus after he grudgingly signed a $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief deal that is sending out $600 to those who qualify.
On Monday, the House passed a measure to send out the additional stimulus, but McConnell on Tuesday blocked a stand-alone vote on the bill.
McConnell could bring it back up wrapped with provisions to strip tech companies of protection from lawsuits and to investigate election fraud, but those additions would likely be dealbreakers for Democrats.
The big picture: The balance of power in the Senate is at stake in the Jan. 5 runoffs. If Republicans win one seat, they’ll hold a slim majority. If Democrats win them both, they’ll effectively control the Senate as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast tie-breaking votes.