After A Delay, Trump Signs Massive Covid-19 Relief Bill and Govt. Spending Bill
On Sunday evening, after waiting for six days to see if Congress would make some of the changes he requested, President Trump signed the massive $2.3 Trillion Covid-19 Relief Bill and Government Spending Bill. The passage of the bill will avert a government shutdown that was set to start on Tuesday and extend billions in Covid-19 relief to millions of Americans.
The Covid-19 Relief bill will also reinstate and extend unemployment benefits for another 11 weeks for millions of jobless Americans. Trump allowed the benefits for two key programs to expire yesterday when he decided to not sign the bill before the deadline. Signing the bill today reinstates those programs but will also add an extra week's delay for those enrolled to receive payment. Similarly, because Congress waited until late December to pass the bill, there will likely be a break in payments for several weeks as state agencies reprogram their computers. Despite the delays, the benefits are retroactive and will be paid accordingly.
The new relief bill also includes a second round of stimulus checks of $600 per individual, an additional $300 per week in jobless benefits, aid to accelerate vaccine distribution and up to $284 Billion for small business loans, amongst other measures.
Last Tuesday, President Trump asked Congress to amend the bill before he would sign it saying that the $600 in stimulus was not enough and that it should be at least $2000 per person. He also asked them to get rid of what he considered to be "wasteful and unnecessary" items in the legislation, particularly foreign aid.
While measures for both of these requests were presented in the House on Thursday, neither passed leading to another stalemate. House Democrats introduced a measure to raise the stimulus checks to $2000 per person, but it was defeated by House GOP members. Similarly, House GOP members introduced a measure to cut foreign aid from the bill but it was defeated by House Democrats.
The passage of the bill will serve as a great relief to the millions of Americans who currently find themselves unemployed or in difficult financial situations.
Photo Source: whitehouse.gov