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After months of waiting for a second stimulus package, both chambers of Congress finally agreed on a bill. On Dec. 22, 2020, the Senate announced the legislation would be sent to the president for his signature. Approximately 8 hours later, Donald Trump tweeted he was not happy with the “ridiculously low” stimulus payment.
Trump directed Congress to amend the bill from $600 to $2,000 for qualified individuals and $4,000 for couples in a four-minute video. He is also told the lawmakers to “immediately remove the wasteful and unnecessary items” from the bill and send him a version more suitable.
The president warned the lawmakers that if they did not fix the legislation, America’s next administration would have to deliver a COVID-19 relief package.
He asserted that the administration might be his and they would “get it done.” Trump still clings to the rhetoric of losing the election to Joe Biden due to massive election fraud.
While the president does not definitively state he would veto the stimulus/2021 government spending bill, the tone of his remarks indicates the possibility. Since Congress overwhelmingly passed the legislation, they would be able to override Trump’s veto — 359 to 53 in the House and 92 t0 6 in the Senate.
However, that could take weeks, and the budget must be passed as soon as possible. To avoid shutting down the government at midnight today, the lawmakers created a cushion extending the deadline:
If Trump vetoes the bill, the government will shut down on Monday, December 28.
During his video, Trump disparaged the bill for including funding for foreign governments, the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian, and the National Gallery of Art to the tune of nearly $4 billion. He lamented this is wasteful spending and “far more than the Americans are given.”
Trump’s displeasure over the meager stimulus checks echoes thousands of social media posts. Moreover, sending money outside of the United States short of national defense should be significantly reduced or bypassed during the pandemic crisis that has permanently shuttered businesses, created all-time high unemployment rates, and brought on food insecurity nationwide not seen since the Great Depression.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC: Trump blasts Covid relief bill just passed by Congress, demands changes; by Dartunorro Clark
The Washington Post: Trump calls on Congress to approve $2,000 stimulus checks, hinting he might not sign relief bill without changes; Rachel Siegel, Josh Dawsey, and Josh Dawsey
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Epoch Times’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Kathryn Harper’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
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