Properties of Pelosi, McConnell vandalised amid political tussle over COVID stimulus

Washington, January 3

The homes of the two highest-ranking members of the US Congress — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — have been vandalised, police said, amid a political battle over a stimulus package to coronavirus-hit Americans.

Fake blood and a severed pig’s head were reportedly left outside top Democrat Pelosi’s California house, which was also daubed with graffiti.

The words “where’s my money” and some expletives were scrawled on Republican McConnell’s house in Kentucky.

The two separate incidents come as Senate Democrats pushed, without success, for a Senate vote on USD 2,000 stimulus cheques on Friday.

The effort was blocked by Senate Republicans, including McConnell, who have largely argued that increasing stimulus cheques would not be the kind of “targeted relief” necessary to respond to the economic distress caused by the pandemic.

The top Republican has been critical of the push to increase the cheques, multiple times saying the amount is “simply not the right approach” and repeating an argument that much of it is “socialism for rich people.”

After McConnell’s Louisville home was marked with graffiti early Saturday morning, he denounced the incident as a “radical tantrum.”

“Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbours in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum,” McConnell said in a statement.

“Were’s my money” was scrawled on McConnell’s front door in what looks like white spray paint, US media reports said.

On early Friday morning, a home in San Francisco belonging to Pelosi was vandalised, according to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD).

“Unidentified suspect(s) had painted graffiti on the garage door and left a pig’s head on the sidewalk,” the police department said in a statement obtained by CNN.

The SFPD Special Investigations Division is investigating, the report said.

On Tuesday the US House of Representatives voted to increase the aid sent to individuals under the scheme from USD 600 to USD 2,000. The Democratic-led chamber passed the bill with the help of more than 40 Republicans.

But the Republican-led Senate has not approved the bigger cheques, despite calls to do so from US President Donald Trump.

The second stimulus package that Congress did pass included USD 600 direct payments, half the amount provided in the first round of checks, which went out in the spring.

The US is the worst-hit country by the pandemic. America has reported over 20,430,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 350,000 deaths. PTI

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