US Senator Bernie Sanders on Monday announced that he will delay the Senate vote on overriding Trump’s veto of a defense bill until the $2,000 COVID stimulus checks are approved.

“This week on the Senate floor Mitch McConnell wants to vote to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion defense funding bill and then head home for the New Year”, Sanders tweeted. “I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class”.

His initiative is supported by Democratic Senator Ed Markey, who said he will join Sanders in blocking the defense bill in a bid to increase the amount of the stimulus check.

​Earlier in the day, both measures were approved in the US House of Representatives, but only 44 Republicans appeared to support the $2,000 coronavirus relief checks for individuals, which had been increased from an initial sum of $600.

Some 109 Republicans in the House voted to override Trump’s veto of the US defense bill rolled out last week. The president demanded the legislation include a repeal of Section 230 – a law protecting tech companies from liability over the content posted on their platforms – while also objecting to the bill’s requirement to strip Confederate names from US military bases.

Regarding the coronavirus relief bill approved earlier in the month, Trump originally criticized the initial $600 payments, calling for Congress to “send him a suitable bill”.

“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple”, Trump said.