Trump Finally Signs COVID Relief Bill After Millions Lose Unemployment

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President Trump finally gave in and signed the COVID relief and year-long budget bill on Sunday night, Dec. 27, 2020. If he procrastinated much longer, the government would have shut down at midnight. However, his delay cost 14 million Americans to lose their emergency unemployment benefits that expired on Saturday.

Congress took months to come to an agreement that was tolerable for both parties. On December 22, they announced a relief package, that while not perfect, did provide needed assistance. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $600 stimulus checks would be sent out by direct deposit as Trump instructed, “as soon as next week.” As of today, nearly a week has passed, and Mnuchin has not provided a new estimated date.

Eight hours later, Trump posted a video on Twitter complaining the money was pitiful. He demanded Congress amend the bill to give Americans $2,000. The president further complained about some of the “pork” in the budget.

Trump inferred he might not sign the bill. After he vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on the 23rd, concern grew he might veto the stimulus package as well.

After Trump’s tweet, Nancy Pelosi said she would be happy to provide $2,000 stimulus rather than $600. Her plan was quickly set aside when House Republicans said they would not approve the change.

On Christmas eve, it looked as though receiving a stimulus check would not happen until after President-elect Joe Biden was inaugurated, if even then. Trump took off to his golf club in Florida for the holiday, leaving America wondering what he would do.

TrumpThe legislation was sent to Mar-a-Lago for his signature on December 25. He said nothing one way or another for two days.

At midnight on Saturday, December 26, when emergency unemployment benefits expired, Congress’s polite nudging turned to outright demands for Trump to sign the legislation.

The president posted a tweet today at 3:22 p.m. ET. that was cryptic, to say the least: “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!” Trump is the king of cryptic, although at least one of his former-press secretaries claimed similar remarks should be taken with a sense of humor.

Angry responses on Twitter surpassed the supportive ones, even after Trump signed the relief bill and government budget.

When will the stimulus money be dispersed? Mnuchin said the checks would be dispersed within days last week. There has been no mention of a new timeframe. However, reports written before Trump signed the legislation indicated the earliest might be Jan. 15, 2021.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

The Washington Post: Trump signs stimulus and government spending bill into law, averting shutdown; by Seung Min Kim, Jeff Stein, Mike DeBonis, and Josh Dawsey
The New Civil Rights Movement: AMERICA’S FASCIST PRESIDENT ‘Sadistic’ Trump Slammed for Teasing ‘Good News on Covid Relief Bill’ After Letting Millions Lose Unemployment; by David Badash

Featured and Top Image by Bill Ingalls Courtesy of NASA HQ PHOTO’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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