Northwest Missouri’s congressional delegation is split over its response to President Donald Trump’s call for $2,000 stimulus checks, while at least two of the Republicans believe Congress should override a defense spending veto and force the bill into law without the president’s signature.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said he won’t consent to a vote on the override measure unless the Senate votes on $2,000 stimulus checks, a measure the U.S. House of Representatives passed Monday despite a “no” vote from Republican Rep. Sam Graves.
“I will not consent to a vote on a bad defense bill, which should stay vetoed, unless the Senate votes on $2,000 COVID-19 relief for working families,” Hawley posted on Twitter Monday.
A representative from Hawley’s office directed News-Press NOW to Hawley’s Twitter feed when asked about the stimulus bill, defense bill and related matters. On Monday morning, Hawley tweeted that Americans “deserve” $2,000 in stimulus funds.
A spokesperson for Missouri’s other Republican senator, Roy Blunt, said Blunt doesn’t support the $2,000 stimulus check bill, called the “CASH Act,” as currently written.
“Sen. Blunt believes financial relief should be targeted toward people who have lost their jobs or lost income because of the pandemic,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “He does not support a blanket increase in direct payments that does not take those factors into account.”
A majority of senators, including at least four Republicans, appear to support the CASH Act, but more than just a simple majority is generally needed to pass a bill in the Senate. One procedural hurdle, called cloture, requires 60 votes.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, attempted to pass the $2,000 checks by unanimous consent of the other senators. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, objected.
McConnell indicated that the Senate will consider an override of Trump’s veto on Wednesday, though it’s unclear if that will change based on Hawley’s stated objection. A member of Blunt’s office told News-Press NOW that he will support the veto override.
“I don’t believe our American troops and military families should be used as a bargaining chip,” Graves, who voted for the veto override in the House, said. “The National Defense Authorization Act is crucial for our military and St. Joseph, specifically. The airmen of the 139th and Rosecrans Air National Guard Base are dependent on the NDAA, as is the safety and defense of our nation.”
Trump vetoed the NDAA because he wanted social media reform included in the bill and because he objected to the bill’s requirement that military bases named after Confederate figures be changed.
“I fully agree ... big tech needs to be held accountable,” Graves said.
More than 40 Republicans voted for the CASH Act in the House, though Graves joined more than 100 of his Republican colleagues in voting against the bill.
“President Trump and the American people sent a clear message to Congress: cut the pork and invest in Americans instead. The bill, that Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposed, didn’t cut any wasteful spending on foreign aid at all,” Graves said in a statement.