Donald Trump signs $2.3 trillion Covid relief and government funding bill into law

Donald Trump signs $2.3 trillion Covid relief and government funding bill into law


Donald Trump signs $2.3 trillion Covid relief and government funding bill into law

Donald Trump signs $2.3 trillion Covid relief and government funding bill into law

The move by the outgoing president ended days of impasse after he initially refused to sign the bill, which includes $900bn in coronavirus relief.

He had branded the bill a “disgrace” just days before eventually putting pen to paper.

Mr Trump had demanded lawmakers come back to him with a new proposal that included $2,000 checks for struggling Americans, instead of the $600 payments it includes.

The president was widely criticised for spending his Christmas vacation playing golf while the bill, which had been flown to Florida, sat on his desk unsigned.

“Good news on Covid Relief Bill,” tweeted the president before he signed the bill on Sunday night.

The Covid relief package also extends unemployment benefits for millions of workers who have lost jobs during the pandemic, as well as the long-term unemployed.

An estimated 12 million people in pandemic programmes were set to lose their benefits but now can rely on them for another 11 weeks.

And anyone collecting unemployment will receive an additional weekly $300 from the federal government until March.

After signing the bill, Trump issued a statement in which he said he had “told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child.”

“As president I am demanding many rescissions under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974,” he continued.

“I will sign the omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. 

“I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.”

But with Mr Trump’s presidency lasting less than a month and the 116th Congress ending on 3 January, he is likely to be ignored by lawmakers.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that Mr Trump’s signature was “welcome news.” 

Ms Pelosi also called on him to encourage Republicans to “end their obstruction” and support her party’s effort to increase direct Covid payments.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell praised Mr Trump for his “leadership” in preventing yet another government shutdown.

“His leadership has prevented a government shutdown at a time when our nation could not have afforded one,” said Mr McConnell.


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