President Trump is signaling he may not sign the COVID-19 relief bill.
After months of silence on the issue, last night in a video, President Trump called the bill a ”disgrace” and suggested he might not immediately sign off on it. He called on Congress to increase the ”ridiculously low” $600 checks to $2000.
While conflating the annual spending bill with the actual relief bill, Trump listed several spending provisions in the package that he called ”wasteful spending.”
“I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a covid relief package, and maybe that administration will be me,” Trump said.
What Trump fails to mention is that Steve Mnuchin, his Treasury Secretary, came up with the idea for the $600 checks and was acting on behalf of the White House in the negotiations while Trump has been hands-off and solely focused on his attempts to overturn the election results.
Many Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans voiced their support for the $2000 payments on Twitter. However, it would prove to be logistically challenging to amend the bill at this stage. The bill, which was passed alongside the annual spending legislation, sailed through both the Senate and the House with veto-proof margins, however in order to amend the payments would require a unanimous consent vote, which most see as unlikely.
Should President Trump refuse to sign the bill, the government will shut down on December 29.