Under Senate rules, Sanders has the ability to sit in the chamber during the vacation week and likely mess up the campaign schedule for Senators David Perdue (R-Ga.) And Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). These two face second-round races for Senate control on Jan.5 against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, both of whom are campaigning over the $ 2,000 checks.
A source close to Sanders said Senate races were a factor in his decision – as part of an attempt to keep Perdue and Loeffler in Washington and to focus the campaign on their position on the $ 2,000 checks. Sanders also threatened to shut down the government earlier this month if the coronavirus relief bill did not include direct payments; Eventually it included checks for up to $ 600 and the government has remained open, although now Trump wants to go much higher.
While veto overrides can be obstructed, as Sanders plans to do, this is a rare procedural decision as the veto override already requires 67 votes and filibuster is just a tactic. late, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Sanders said he hoped McConnell would allow a vote on the checks on Wednesday.
“The American people are desperate and the Senate must do its job before they leave town,” Sanders said. “It would be unacceptable, especially after the House has done the right thing, for the Senate to simply leave Washington without voting on it.
It is not clear whether there are 60 votes in the Senate for the $ 2,000 checks, which would force at least 13 Republicans to join the 47 members of the House Democratic caucus. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to try to force a vote on the bill passed by the House on Tuesday, although any member of the Senate could oppose it and many Conservatives are ‘oppose this level of spending.
Still, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Approved the $ 2,000 checks Monday night and some House Republicans backed him on the floor, demonstrating a split within the party over whether to give Trump the checks he demands as he prepares to leave office in January.