Don’t Compromise COVID-19 Stimulus Checks With Unrelated Demands

McConnell - Gage Skidmore

Target: Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader

Goal: Vote on stimulus payment increases that could help millions of suffering Americans.

President Trump recently demanded that both chambers of Congress increase the $600 direct payments included in the latest COVID relief package to $2,000. The House of Representatives, in a bipartisan effort, quickly passed this measure as a stand-alone bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called this money that will go to middle-class and lower-income Americans “socialism for the rich,” has consistently resisted calls for a Senate vote on the payment increases. Instead, to provide cover to Senators he knows will not vote for the legislation, he has attached measures related to online liability protections and voter fraud commissions. Neither of these pieces of legislation have a thing to do with COVID-19 relief or providing urgent aid to a country in crisis.

Call it a wrecking amendment, a killer amendment, or a poison pill: this particularly insidious form of political gamesmanship plays with the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. A poison pill occurs when politicians attach all kinds of additional, usually unrelated measures to a bill that is being considered for passage. The extraneous measures are largely designed to prevent a bill from becoming law because the politicians adding the poison pills know that the amended bill will not receive enough votes. This game-playing with legislation has been used to kill actions on a range of issues, from hate crimes legislation to gun control to environmental protection. Senator McConnell is driving the latest destructive effort, and his actions directly impact the hundreds of millions of Americans suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sign the petition below to demand Senator McConnell remove the poison pills from this critical issue and stop using a corrosive tactic that only hurts average Americans.


Dear Senator McConnell,

You recently urged your colleagues to “vote your conscience” on contesting election results. Why, Senator, are you preventing them from “voting their conscience” on an important piece of legislation that impacts every single American? Your version of the COVID direct payment stimulus increase is a poorly veiled poison pill ensured to kill this measure before it even begins.

This may be a game to you, but it is life-and-death to tens of millions of Americans. Your newfound concern about “socialism for the rich” is rich itself given the massive corporate tax break that you hail as one of your greatest achievements. The middle-class and lower-income citizens who would actually receive these payments will once again suffer the most because of your actions.

Poison pills do much more than kill legislation. They coldly execute the hopes of the American people. Stop relying on this sick process and stop playing with lives to score cheap political points. Allow a vote on stand-alone relief legislation, and end poison pills in politics.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

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