In a statement released after Trump signed the $600 billion stimulus bill into law, he said the Senate would “start the process for a vote that:
1. increases checks to $2,000,
2. repeals Section 230,
3. and starts an investigation into voter fraud.”
Those are the three provisions McConnell has attempted to package into one piece of legislation despite objections from Democrats.
“Section 230” is a reference to a 1996 federal law that broadly indemnifies tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google for the actions of their users.
Trump has railed against the tech companies as they have started to crack down on his postings alleging voter fraud in the November election, as well as much more aggressive actions targeting postings made by his supporters containing threats and disinformation.
The fate of these measures remained unclear as pressure mounted on the Senate to vote on the aid.
Mr. McConnell’s decision to link all of Mr. Trump’s demands together could doom any chance of passage. While Democrats all support larger checks, they are unlikely to endorse a hasty overhaul of the legal shield currently in place for social media companies, especially measures put forward by Republican senators aimed at confronting what they believe is anti-conservative bias.
Many Democrats oppose the inclusion of the election commission and the technology repeal, so they would almost certainly vote against that broader measure. But by packaging the election commission and the liability protection repeal with the $2,000 checks, McConnell could give Republicans the ability to say they voted for the larger checks even if the bill doesn’t ever become law.