Mitch McConnell Slammed $2K Checks as 'Socialism for Rich People' and People Responded with Just How 'Rich' They Are
Outgoing President Donald Trump threw a wrench into months of delayed pandemic relief negotiations earlier this month when he slammed the long-awaited bipartisan stimulus package passed by Congress.
A major point of contention was the paltry $600 direct relief checks to Americans making under $75 thousand per year. With the pandemic leaving millions unemployed, Democrats called for higher amounts, but didn't have the necessary Republican support.
Trump signaled last week that he wouldn't sign the bill, calling instead for two thousand dollar relief checks instead of $600, in addition to calls for the repeal of Section 230 rules granting liability protections for social media outlets and for a congressional investigation into baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump's bluff and echoed his calls for $2000 stimulus checks. The House soon passed a standalone bill increasing the direct relief amount called the CASH Act.
This put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the unenviable position of deciding whether to support the increase or to be the one preventing it just ahead of a pair of elections that will determine which party controls the Senate in 2021.
While some hoped the rare agreement between Trump and congressional Democrats would pressure congressional Republicans enough to boost direct relief, McConnell is still fighting the effort.
McConnell is refusing to consider the CASH Act, only expressing openness to legislation that revokes Section 230 and amplifies lies about voter fraud in addition to expanded relief.
In an objection to Senate Democrats' calls to increase relief, McConnell decried the checks as "socialism for the rich."
JUST IN: Sen. Mitch McConnell blasts #CASHAct, refutes Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Our colleague from Vermont is dead wrong on this... Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it." pic.twitter.com/k6QfgDdNxq
— The Hill (@thehill) December 31, 2020
McConnell claimed Senator Bernie Sanders' (D-VT) statements in support of the relief boost would disproportionately benefit rich people who don't need the income:
"Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help for families who actually need it."
The CASH Act replaces all mentions of $600 in stimulus relief with "$2000" in the current legislation already passed by Congress. This legislation also excludes anyone making more than $75 thousand per year from full direct relief payments and fully caps these payments for those at over $84 thousand per year.
As Senate Majority Leader, McConnell—whose net worth is around $22 million—wholeheartedly supported Trump's 2017 tax bill, which helped billionaires pay less in taxes than blue collar Americans. The omnibus included in the pandemic relief package endorsed by McConnell just days ago provides tax cuts to racehorse owners and allots for three-martini lunches for Congress members.
Senator Sanders—a famous supporter of working class rights and critic of America's gaping wealth gap—called out McConnell's hypocrisy shortly after.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Do you want to talk about socialism for the rich, Mr. Majority Leader? Under that bill, Charles Koch, one of the very richest people in America, he has a net worth of $113 billion. That bill gave mr. Koch a $1.4 billion tax break." pic.twitter.com/JK4PHfyyN6
— The Hill (@thehill) December 31, 2020
"The Majority Leader helped lead this body to pass Trump's tax bill. You want to talk about socialism for the rich, Mr. Majority Leader? Under that bill, Charles Koch, one of the very richest people in America, he has a net worth of $113 billion. That bill gave Mr. Koch a $1.4 billion tax break."
MSNBC anchor Joy Reid scoffed at McConnell's declaration that increased relief would disproportionately benefit the rich, and soon she called on her Twitter followers to share just how "rich" they are.
Mitch thinks you're rich. Post below how “rich" you are, America. https://t.co/macWKTVPiX
— Joy WE VOTED!! WEAR A MASK!! Reid 😷) (@JoyAnnReid) December 31, 2020
The answers reflected the urgency with which Americans need substantial relief.
I'm so rich I'm having to move out of my apartment to a cheaper place...my car will be repossessed and am struggling to keep food in my house and pay utilities. That $2000 would have helped me out a lot.
— TA KamalaSupporter Star73 (@MISST4LYFE) December 31, 2020
My wife and I have been putting off getting new glasses for over year now. They're so scratched up and out of prescription that we end up just taking them off and holding things right up to our face to read them. We both need bifocals which makes it even more expensive.
— Butch Curry (@ZombieButch) December 31, 2020
$5.11 in my bank account.
Sold anything I could EBay.
401k cashed out and used up.
Savings used up.
Unemployment is over and Florida had the lowest payments of $275 a week so ... I also have a few months of back rent that I only paid half rent. I'm now actually in “rent debt"
— YouAreTooFunny (@everbodyBlocksU) December 31, 2020
My sister just gave me a cooler full of meat for Christmas because my freezer was empty and I work 2 jobs.
— Christy Schmidt (@christyproject) December 31, 2020
.48 cents in checking account. I may be poor and broke but so very rich in spirit unlike Mitch who is the poorest man around besides 45.
— rebecca turner (@beachbeagonia) December 31, 2020
Single mom here, @senatemajldr. Trying to keep the lights on, pay college tuition, make the rent, and, you know, survive. For example, “food" is something you may have heard costs “money." Millions are suffering. There is a special place in hell for you.
— Robin DesCamp, JD (@AskDesCamp) December 31, 2020
McConnell's hypocrisy was blasted across the internet.
it's so depraved to pretend that pandemic survival checks, which phase out for higher earners, amount to "socialism for the rich" –– especially when your entire agenda is rigging the system for the wealthy & big corporations. https://t.co/02y2ANe1pb
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) December 31, 2020
War is peace.
Mitch McConnell, and all Republicans, are perfectly OK with giving away hundreds of billions to the rich but they refuse cash payment to Americans.
Cash is the single best way to stimulate the economy. Not corporate welfare.#DitchMitch #StimulusCheck https://t.co/p3IUTjO1Uh
— roshan. (@RoshanCanTweet) December 31, 2020
The irony, of course, is that Mitch McConnell has pushed plenty of “socialism for the rich."
Besides, if rich people were getting this stimulus (they aren't - it starts phasing out at $75k) surely that would just be the equivalent of a tax cut - which Mitch has always been for. https://t.co/Z1sGDcXwbu
— Michael Li 李之樸 (@mcpli) December 31, 2020
Architect of $2 trillion upper-class and corporate tax cut denounces payments that phase out at $75,000 of annual income as "socialism for the rich" https://t.co/qMlWVAp26U
— Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) December 31, 2020
The future of the expanded relief is still unclear.