The homes of Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Republican Mitch McConnell were targeted after relief cheques were not increased.
Police in the United States say they are investigating acts of vandalism at the homes of two senior lawmakers that appear to be tied to a failed effort to increase COVID-19 relief payments for Americans hard-hit by the pandemic.
On Saturday, spray paint on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s door in Kentucky read, “WERES [sic] MY MONEY”, while “MITCH KILLS THE POOR” was scrawled over a window. A profanity directed at the senior Republican legislator also was painted under the mailbox.
Louisville police are investigating the incident, which occurred about 5am local time (10:00 GMT) on Saturday.
“I’ve spent my career fighting for the First Amendment and defending peaceful protest,” McConnell said in a statement condemning the vandalism.
“I appreciate every Kentuckian who has engaged in the democratic process whether they agree with me or not. This is different. Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society.”
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) January 2, 2021
Meanwhile, police in California said graffiti, a pig’s head and fake blood were found at Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco on New Year’s Day.
The vandalism was reported about 2am local time (10:00 GMT) on Friday, police said in a statement, and a special unit is investigating.
Local station KGO-TV reported that the graffiti found on the garage door of the Democratic leader’s home included the phrases “$2K”, “Cancel rent!” and “We want everything” – apparent references to Democrats’ failed efforts to increase COVID-19 relief cheques from $600 to $2,000.
On Friday, Senate Republicans refused to allow debate over a bill to increase the amount of COVID-19 relief cheques.
The increase, supported by President Donald Trump, passed the Democratic-led House, but McConnell blocked a swift vote on the proposed measure in the Senate on December 29.
The government has begun sending out smaller payments to millions of Americans. The $600 payment is going to individuals with incomes up to $75,000.
Congress approved the payment in late December, with Trump signing the bill into law on Monday after a delay of several days that threatened the much-needed COVID-19 financial support that many Americans rely on.
The $2.3 trillion financial package includes unemployment benefits and relief payments to families, as well as funds for vaccine distribution, businesses, cash-starved public transport and protections against eviction.
“It’s better than nothing, which is what people went into Christmas having,” Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan said when Trump signed the bill into law this week.
“There is a lot of criticism of the president for delaying unnecessarily in these critics view and making things even harder on people than it has already been for the past nine months,” Jordan reported.
The US has been hit hard by COVID-19 and millions of people have lost their jobs amid an economic downturn.
More than 20.3 million cases have been reported across the country since the pandemic began, while over 348,000 people have died, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.