Unemployment Benefits Expire For Millions As Trump Refuses To Sign Stimulus & Government Funding Bills
As President Donald Trump continues to threaten to veto the $900 billion appropriations and coronavirus relief bills that the U.S. Congress passed on Wednesday night, millions of Americans have now lost unemployment insurance after the holiday break.
Trump has called on representatives and senators to amend provisions within the bill before signing it into law.
“The vast bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. It really is a disgrace,” Trump said in a video statement. “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000…immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items…or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package, and maybe that administration will be me.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
The legislation would send direct payments of up to $600 per person and provide the unemployed with a $300 weekly federal boost through mid-March while extending two pandemic unemployment programs and reopening the Paycheck Protection Program so that some of the hardest-hit small businesses could apply for a second loan.
Late Tuesday night, the Dems initial reaction was to take Trump up on his offer of $2,000 checks. “At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted.
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020
The package, which would be the second-largest relief deal after the $2 trillion CARES Act that the U.S. Congress had approved in March, also would extend eviction protection and enhance food stamp benefits.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin played a crucial role in negotiating the deal. Mnuchin, on Tuesday morning, issued a statement praising the agreement, and a day earlier, told CNBC that the $600 checks could begin to flow as early as next week.
I am pleased that Congress has passed on an overwhelming bipartisan basis additional critical economic relief for American workers, families and businesses. https://t.co/CxeU4YWntz
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) December 22, 2020
In the statement, Mnuchin congratulated the congressmen who helped pass previous relief bills. “I am pleased that the United States Senate and House of Representatives have passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021,” he said. “I want to thank President Trump for his leadership and Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader McCarthy for working with the Administration to provide critical additional economic relief for American workers, families, and businesses that, through no fault of their own, have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Thank you to @realDonaldTrump, @SenateMajLdr, @SenSchumer, @SpeakerPelosi, @GOPLeader, and Chief @MarkMeadows for providing COVID relief for American workers, families, jobs, schools, small businesses, direct payments, and much more.
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) December 21, 2020