Just coming out of Politico:
Sen. Bernie Sanders will filibuster an override of President Donald Trump’s defense bill veto unless the Senate holds a vote on providing $2,000 direct payments to Americans.
“McConnell and the Senate want to expedite the override vote and I understand that. But I’m not going to allow that to happen unless there is a vote, no matter how long that takes, on the $2,000 direct payment,” Sanders said in an interview on Monday night. The Vermont independent can’t ultimately stop the veto override vote, but he can delay it until New Year’s Day and make things more difficult for the GOP.
The House passed the payment boost sought by Trump and Democratic leaders on Monday evening, and Trump said the Senate has agreed to “start the process” on a stimulus checks vote when he signed the $900 billion relief bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to address the timing of such a vote.
Under Senate rules, Sanders has the ability to keep the chamber in during the holiday week and likely mess with the campaign schedules of Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). Those two face Jan. 5 runoff races for control of the Senate against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who are both campaigning on the $2,000 checks.
A source close to Sanders said the Senate races were a factor in his decision — part of a bid to keep Perdue and Loeffler in D.C. and focus the campaign on their position regarding 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; ultimately it included checks of up to $600 and the government stayed open, though now Trump wants to go much higher.
Though veto overrides can be filibustered, as Sanders plans to do, it is a rare procedural move because the veto override already requires 67 votes and the filibuster is simply a delay tactic, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Sanders said he hopes McConnell allows a vote on the checks on Wednesday.
Leave it to Bernie and his experience in Congress. And it was so worth every penny I contributed to his campaigns. He’s not a backbencher!
More tweets, videos, news, etc in the comments section. Sure Happy It’s Tuesday!
11:20 AM CT: Bernie on the senate floor. Schumer has already requested consent to vote on the House bill. McConnell objected, Bernie has started his fillibuster.
UPDATE: Here’s the speech:
Bernie on the Senate floor today. https://t.co/FCsUbYoTVQ
— J Graham (@JayeGraham20) December 29, 2020