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President Trump is backing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bid to force a vote in the Senate on the $2,000 coronavirus stimulus payment by threatening to filibuster an override of Trump’s veto of a massive defense spending bill.
Early Tuesday morning, Trump retweeted a post from Nicole Fisher, a contributor to Forbes and a former aide to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, noting Sanders’ intent to disrupt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempt to override the veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.
“Give the people $2000, not $600. They have suffered enough!,” Trump said on Twitter, repeating his call to increase the amount of the coronavirus stimulus payments included in a $2.4 trillion relief bill passed by Congress last week and signed by him Sunday.
In another tweet hours later, Trump said: “$2000 for our great people, not $600! They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!”
The president had threatened to veto the combined stimulus and spending bill, but then urged the House and Senate to amend the bill to more than triple the payments to $2,000.
Sanders (I-Vermont) said in a post late Monday that McConnell wants to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense bill and “then head home for the New Year.”
“I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class,” he said.
The House on Monday voted 322-87 to override Trump’s veto and 275-134 to approve the $2,000 payments.
Trump objects to the defense bill over two provisions that would rename military bases honoring Confederate soldiers and slow the draw down of troops in Afghanistan. He also has repeatedly demanded language in the bill to repeal Section 230.
A filibuster by Sanders — largely a delay tactic — could keep the Senate in session through New Year’s Day and disrupt the campaigns of Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue who face Democratic challengers in a Jan. 5 runoff election in Georgia.
The election will determine which party controls the chamber next year.
New members of the Senate are sworn in on Jan. 3.
The GOP-majority Senate overwhelmingly passed the defense spending bill by 84-13 and a veto override requires 67 votes.
Sanders was among the “no” votes.
Sixty votes are needed to pass the $2,000 stimulus checks and to break a filibuster.
To approve the increased payments, 12 Republicans would have to vote with the 48 Democrats.
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