Trump signs the Covid-19 relief: Following days of apprehensive delay, Donald Trump has signed the Covid-19 relief and spending package worth $2.3 trillion, thus preventing government shutdown set to begin on Tuesday. The announcement of President signing the bill into law was made on Sunday night, after the Republicans reportedly urged him to do so after his blunt refusal to sign the bill. This delay led to millions of Americans have lost unemployment aid access.
Trump had blatantly put Democrats and Republicans stuck in a blind alley after months of their efforts over bill negotiations were upended as he refused to sign the package already passed by large margins by the House and Senate. Last week Trump demanded that the bill must be revised to include relief checks of larger proportions and scaled-back spending.
On Sunday night, President Trump took a reverse turn as he signed the bill into law. He released a statement, saying it was his “responsibility to protect the people of our country from the economic devastation and hardship.”
He added, “I am signing the bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more.”
The decision was welcomed by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, who tweeted in support. Following the move, Asian stock markets saw a rise and US stock futures saw a jump of 0.4%.
The Covid-19 relief package of $900 billion signed by Trump provides unemployment benefits to millions of unemployed Americans. This week would have been the last to give payment to around 12 million people under two unemployment programs in US, but the signed bill will not give access to them for 11 more weeks. However, Trump having failed to sign bill on Saturday, people in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs will not receive payment for last week of year.
On Monday, the House, led by Democrats, will vote on bill expansion of direct payments. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, welcomed the news. She said in her Sunday statement that Trump must call on Republicans “to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2000.”
The relief bill comes as US continues to witness worsening of coronavirus pandemic situation with huge surges. Medical experts as well as President-elect Joe Biden predict that darkest of days are looming in the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday, “We very well might see a post-seasonal, in the sense of Christmas, New Year, surge.”