Days after saying the $600 stimulus checks in the Covid relief bill is “ridiculously low,” President Donald Trump signed the bill. This means the government will remain open. Meanwhile, Americans in need of relief will start receiving assistance. Had Trump refused to sign, the government would shut down by Tuesday for lack of a budget.
The bipartisan bill costing $2.3 trillion, includes a $900 stimulus package to help Americans get by as 2020 winds down to its last week. Aside from the stimulus check, it includes an extension of unemployment benefits and fresh loan funding for small businesses. Also, the package extends the federal moratorium on evictions, which expires December 31.
$2000 Rather Than ‘Measly” $600
The $900 billion Covid relief package is a part of a larger government budget bill. Both parties worked details out with White House aides to produce an acceptable budget that made it before the deadline. However, Trump objects to the bill having money for foreign aid but allotting only $600 per household in relief. He asked Congress to get back to him after increasing the $600 stimulus check to $2000 and trimming foreign aid. At one point, Trump said that the bill “is called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid.”
He reiterated his demand last weekend “I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600.” Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House will help ensure that the stimulus checks go out immediately.
Delays in Signing
Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, a fellow Republican, called out Trump for delaying the signing of the bill. The President wants Americans to know he pushed for a bigger check, but he risks sowing confusion. “I think, as he leaves office, I understand he wants to be remembered for advocating for big checks.” But, Toomey said that Trump will be known for “chaos and misery and erratic behavior if he allows this to expire. So, Toomey suggested that Trump should “sign this and then make the case for subsequent legislation,” he said. Toomey said he opposes the $2,000 checks proposed by the president.
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Trump’s aides prepared the bill for a Christmas eve signing and announcement. However, Trump had a change of heart and wanted more for American households. As a result, the unemployment benefits expired Saturday, while a government shutdown loomed by the following week. Apart from initially refusing to sign the bill, Trump received flak from both sides as he chose to spend the holidays at his private golf club in Florida. Soon as he tweeted his decision to sign the bill Sunday evening, he returned to Mar-a-Lago.
GOP Didn’t Fight for Him
Also during the weekend, President Trump continued his assault on Republican leadership. He accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans failed to defend him from falling victim to election fraud. With Congress meeting on January 6 to confirm Electoral College results, Trump remains fixated that the Democrats cheated. Referring to his Republican party mates, he said that this outcome “didn’t have to be that way.”
Trump tweeted: “If a Democrat Presidential Candidate had an Election Rigged & Stolen, with proof of such acts at a level never seen before, the Democrat Senators would consider it an act of war, and fight to the death,” Mitch & the Republicans do NOTHING, just want to let it pass. NO FIGHT!”
Watch the CBC News: The National reporting that President Trump finally signs COVID-19 relief bill, extending benefits for millions:
Do you support the signed COVID relief package that features $600 stimulus checks? Given the deadline for the remainder of the year, do you think this is the best decision? Or do you feel that Trump should have played hardball until a better relief bill is passed? Let us know what you think by leaving your comment below.