The Vermont senator has attacked his colleague over stimulus "hypocrisy" and Kentucky's poor counties.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again rejected a plan backed by Democrats and President Donald Trump to bump up the latest round of stimulus checks for Americans to $2,000 on Thursday, as the Senate works through the new year.
It took Congress less than a month to pass legislation giving a $700 billion bailout to bank executives during the financial crisis. Lawmakers have spent eight months mulling the far less expensive stimulus bill.
The Vermont senator called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on giving Americans $2,000.
The Vermont lawmaker appealed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a vote on giving $2,000 direct payments.
"Nobody here has disagreed with Trump more times than I have," Sanders said during his speech, "and yet ... the President of the United States is right!"
"Let me just make it clear for the Majority Leader that 10 out of the poorest 25 counties in the United States of America are located in Kentucky," Sanders said. "So maybe my colleague, the Majority Leader, might want to get on the phone and start talking to working families in Kentucky."
The Vermont independent said other issues should be looked at separately, with the boost to payments moved as a priority.
"I will be on the floor," Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said Tuesday, "make sure this comes to a vote."
"It's simple," Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted Tuesday, "no vote, no new year's break for Senators."
"Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are turning their backs. Enough! Let the Senate vote on $2,000 checks!" Sanders tweeted on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has consistently opposed direct checks to individuals, saying it creates a disincentive for people to get back to work.
In a shrewd play for $2,000 stimulus checks, Sanders is leveraging a Pentagon bill to try to secure aid for millions of struggle Americans
GOP Senator Ron Johnson previously blocked two efforts to pass a round of $1,200 stimulus checks.
"The American people are desperate," the Vermont senator said, "and the Senate has got to do its job before leaving town."
"Congress should quickly pass legislation to increase direct payments to Americans to $2,000," Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio said on Monday.
"Congress will vote on additional stimulus checks," said Senator Lindsey Graham.
"We do need to get $2,000 out to every working-class individual in this country," the Vermont senator said.
House Republicans have blocked the Democrats' effort to raise the stimulus checks to $2,000 in line with the president's demand.
A photo of the Vermont senator getting vaccinated has inspired people on Twitter to joke that Sanders is actually a really big Titus Andronicus fan.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley is among the lawmakers who have said the direct payments agreed by Congress are not high enough.
The Vermont senator has said he will call for more relief when Joe Biden enters the White House and the Senate is back in session next month.
Senator Ron Johnson "wasn't so worried about the deficit when he voted to give $1 trillion in tax breaks to the 1% and large corporations," the Vermont senator tweeted.
Ron Johnson said Friday "I want to help people" but COVID relief efforts need to be "more targeted."
Senator Josh Hawley tweeted on Thursday that direct payments to Americans would be the COVID-19 "relief working families need."
"I think that is misguided and I don't think it's candidly very progressive," Senator Mark Warner said about the progressive's demands for a second round of stimulus checks.
After progressives and some Republicans demanded $1,200 payments in a new relief bill, bipartisan negotiators put forward a provision to provide half that amount.
The Vermont senator said the proposals were "much too small" amid rising poverty and debt.
After publishing her Twitter poll, Ocasio-Cortez told her followers, "If you don't want your [congressional] member to vote for a $600 deal, you really need to tell them that."
"This is what Democrats & Republicans did in March through the CARES Act. It's what we must do today," Sanders tweeted on Tuesday.