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Trump Refuses to Sign Covid-19 Bill, Demands Bigger Stimulus Checks

UTC by Mercy Tukiya Mutanya · 3 min read
Trump Refuses to Sign Covid-19 Bill, Demands Bigger Stimulus Checks
Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The relief package incorporates, among others, increased jobless benefits, small business loans, education funding, the $600 stimulus checks and funding to aid the supply and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

In a video tweeted on Tuesday evening, Donald Trump called on Congress to make some changes to the stimulus bill. Key among the suggested changes was a call to increase stimulus packages from the current $600 to $2000 for individuals and $4000 for couples. The bill also included a $1.4T federal spending measure for the 2021 fiscal year.

While Trump did not threaten to veto the stimulus bill, a delay could have adverse effects for millions of Americans. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, on Monday, announced that the $600 stimulus checks in the bill passed by Congress would go out next week. Federal operations are being funded temporarily until Dec 28 awaiting the signing of the bill. Delay or failure to pass the bill could result in a partial government shutdown on Monday.

The president cited “wasteful and unnecessary items” as a reason for his refusal to sign. This was in an apparent allusion to funds directed at foreign aid, research, and “fish breeding” all of which were part of the $1.4T federal spend and not the $900B Coronavirus relief fund. He said:

“I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package”.

The relief package incorporates, among others, increased jobless benefits, small business loans, education funding, the $600 stimulus checks and funding to aid the supply and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

Senators Josh Hawley and Bernie Sanders had pushed for $1,200 checks for individuals, an ambitious venture considering the $3T dollar deficit the government is ending this year with.

Legislators were attempting to avert the expiration of unemployment programs that would result in the Lose of benefits for 12 million Americans on Dec 26. They were also attempting to deter an eviction moratorium from lapsing. Failure to do so would result in homelessness for tens of millions by this month’s end.

The President’s announcement brought uncertainty in the aviation industry as struggling airlines were set to receive a $15B share of the $900B package to go towards payroll. One of the terms for receiving the $15B slice was that airlines would bring back the 32,000-plus employees placed on unpaid leave. Employees would also receive back pay to Dec 1.

American Airlines 19,000 employees who have been on an unpaid leave of absence since October 1, can expect to receive their pay by December 24. This is according to a statement by CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom made available on Tuesday. A source close to the case revealed that the airline plans to stay course despite the President’s announcement.

In an unexpected twist, vocal Trump critic and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed with Trump’s call for $2000 stimulus checks. She said that Democrats were prepared to bring his proposal to Congress by ” unanimous consent” this week. Reuters reports that the White House could not immediately comment on the issue.

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Mercy Tukiya Mutanya

Mercy Mutanya is a Tech enthusiast, Digital Marketer, Writer and IT Business Management Student. She enjoys reading, writing, doing crosswords and binge-watching her favourite TV series.

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