Trump Ask Congress to Amend The $900 Billion Coronavirus Relief Bill

Yesterday social media was in an uproar after Donald Trump suggested changes made to the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress.

Unfortunately, Trump’s position could threaten to blow up the carefully drafted bill that his own administration helped to negotiate, which could lead to a government shutdown and send the economy into a whirlwind if he carried through with a veto.

In a video released to Twitter, Trump said, “I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000 or $4000 per couple.” He added, “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items in this legislation or to send me a suitable bill.”

The message came after he largely left negotiations over the measure to lawmakers and his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Trump did not explicitly threaten to veto the bill but said he was dissatisfied with its final state.

He said in the video, “A few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people. It’s taken forever.” He added, “However, the bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. It really is a disgrace.”

On Twitter, Nancy Pelosi appeared to favor Trump’s message; she tweeted: “Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks.” She said, “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!”

However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted: “we’re glad to pass more aid Americans need” but stressed that “Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open.” He said, “Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again.”

According to CNN, Trump’s message isn’t going to prompt a renegotiation of the measure, which passed with big veto-proof majorities.

Some on Capitol Hill are hopeful that Trump won’t veto the bill since he never actually said he would.

On Thursday, House Democrats will try to pass a bill to increase direct payments by unanimous consent. It’s unclear what will happen if such a bill is blocked.

Government funding runs out next Monday.

In the past, Trump has said he would sign the bill, and earlier Tuesday, the White House publicly defended the bill. But many of his allies have spoken out against the agreement passed.

On Monday, after months of grueling negotiations, Congress voted to approved the far-reaching $900 billion Covid relied package aimed to support Americans who are affected by the pandemic.
 
The act provides cash grants of up to $600 per adult, $300 per week increase of unemployment insurance, nearly $284 billion in loans from the Paycheck Security Program, $25 billion in rental aid, an extension of the moratorium on eviction, and $82 billion for schools and universities.
 
The deal was announced Sunday night by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; he said, “We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time: More help is on the way.”
 
Only after both sides gave up some of their primary demands was the deal reached, with direct stimulus tests proving to be a major sticking point in the negotiations.

Although Trump told the people around him that he wanted the direct payments to be much larger, he did not indicate that he could not consider the $600 package—half the $1,200 amount accepted in the first relief package that had been pressed for this time by some lawmakers.

Trump’s aides signed off, assuming that Trump was on board when an agreement was reached between Congressional leaders, although two officials said on Tuesday they didn’t think he was going through the package in depth.

Throughout Trump’s video message, he railed against several provisions that were actually part of the omnibus spending bill, not the Covid relief bill.
 
Trump said, “It is called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid.”
 
While the omnibus spending bill — which appropriates money for all the federal agencies for the rest of the fiscal year — was combined with the stimulus deal, funds allocated to the omnibus bill don’t mean less is available for the Covid relief bill.
 
On Tuesday, the White House aides expressed surprise and annoyance about Trump’s video message. Only a few of them knew that Trump had taped the five-minute spot from the garland decorated Diplomatic Reception Room, in the basement of the residence, and at least one White House official deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern, told reporters an hour before the video posted that Trump had signaled his intent to sign it.
 
After the video was released, aides tried to determine what was Trump’s official stance on the legislation and if he was really trying to veto the legislation.
 
One official said that Trump had paid little attention to the stimulus talks in recent days, concentrating almost entirely on his unsuccessful efforts to reverse the election. He was not personally involved in the negotiations, leaving the job to Mnuchin, who praised the kit in a statement Tuesday morning. Like many of his own aides, Republicans on Capitol Hill were not given a heads up that Trump would rail against the stimulus bill. When asked whether this was planned, a GOP leadership aide told CNN ‘no.’
 
 

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