Ohio Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown said Tuesday that he would push for a Senate vote on $2,000 stimulus checks by joining Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders‘s filibuster on the Senate floor.
Sanders called for a Senate vote on increasing direct payments from $600 to $2,000 on Tuesday, a motion which gained an immediate objection from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. When McConnell asked for a vote on overriding President Donald Trump‘s veto on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Sanders voiced his objection. Sanders’s filibuster could potentially keep the Senate in session until January 1, taking up parts of the Senate’s scheduled holiday recess. On Tuesday, Brown indicated that he would join Sanders in making sure the vote on the direct payments occurred.
“I will join Senator Sanders,” Brown told MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan on Tuesday. “I mean, I’m in Cleveland right now. I will be arriving in Washington by car tomorrow a little after noon and I will join Senator Sanders. I will be on the floor, make sure this comes to a vote.”
Newsweek reached out to Sanders’s office for comment.
Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is also expected to take part in Sanders’s filibuster. “We should have a vote,” Markey said in floor remarks on Tuesday. “It should be yes or no and we should do this before the end of this year.”
Trump supports providing $2,000 direct payments, however, legislation he signed on Sunday only provided for $600. The president said he would send the bill back to Congress with certain items “red-lined” that he urged lawmakers to amend. Meanwhile, Trump vetoed the 2021 NDAA which detailed all U.S. defense-related spending.
“Unfortunately,” Trump wrote in a December letter to the House, “the Act fails to include critical security measures, includes provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military’s history, and contradicts efforts by my Administration to put America first in our national security and foreign policy actions.”
The House voted to override Trump’s veto of the NDAA on Monday by a vote of 322 to 87. McConnell attempted to have the Senate vote on overriding the presidential veto when Sanders voiced his objection.
With the NDAA vote in limbo and the vote on the $2,000 direct payments blocked by McConnell, Sanders tweeted Tuesday that he and Markey were ready to keep senators in Washington until a vote on the stimulus checks is conducted.
“Today @SenMarkey and I demanded a vote on $2,000 for working people,” Sanders tweeted Tuesday. “It’s simple—no vote, no new year’s break for Senators.”
McConnell proposed legislation on Tuesday that would allow for stimulus checks to be boosted to $2,000. However, McConnell connected the direct payments to requests made by Trump that Democrats have denounced. McConnell’s bill includes a repeal of Section 230, part of the Communications Decency Act which protects social media platforms from liability for content posted by third parties.
McConnell’s proposal also requires the formation of a bipartisan “advisory committee” to “study the integrity and administration of the general election for Federal office held in November 2020.” Trump has repeatedly claimed that widespread election fraud caused his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, and has filed lawsuits in swing states in an attempt to overturn the election results. Those legal attempts have largely failed and many have described Trump’s allegations as unsubstantiated.