WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHTM) — In a stunning turn of events, President Trump now says he won’t sign the massive spending and COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress after months of negotiations.
In a video released on Twitter, the president demanded Congress amend the bill to increase the amount of money in the stimulus checks and remove other spending provisions.
“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,” Trump said.
The House and Senate both overwhelmingly approved the $900 billion in covid relief late Monday.
The bill extends emergency jobless benefits and an eviction moratorium that were set to expire at the end of the year.
It adds $300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits and provides nearly $300 billion in aid to small businesses. Plus, more than $8 billion for distributing the vaccine.
It also includes a one-time payment of up to $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year. so a family of four could receive $2,400.
President Trump now saying those payments should be higher.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple.”
That demand is unlikely to be popular among some members of Congress who said the price tag of the covid relief bill was already too high.
The covid relief deal was months in the making and comes attached to a $1.4 trillion dollar spending bill to keep the government funded through September.
With government funding set to run dry, lawmakers last week raced to pass a one-week stopgap spending bill to buy time for the larger piece of legislation to go into effect.
President Trump had previously indicated he would sign the covid relief deal, and his comments on Tuesday night mainly took issue with the government spending provisions in the larger funding bill.
President-elect Joe Biden applauded the deal earlier Tuesday but insisted Congress will need to pass additional stimulus under his administration to help with the distribution of vaccines.
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