Trump signs relief bill but uses Impoundment Control Act to demand payments increase from $600 to $2,000

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President Trump announced he was using the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 in an attempt to increase the economic stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 and eliminate “wasteful spending” from the coronavirus relief bill.

“As President of the United States, it is my responsibility to protect the people of our country from the economic devastation and hardship that was caused by the China Virus,” Trump said in a statement. “I understand that many small businesses have been forced to close as a result of harsh actions by Democrat-run states. Many people are back to work, but my job is not done until everyone is back to work.”

Trump touted his administration’s leadership “in passing the CARES Act earlier this year” and the implementation of “Project Warp Speed,” which the president said has been a “tremendous success” in developing and distributing a vaccine “years ahead of wildest expectations.”

But Trump indicated he still wasn’t happy with the specifics of the latest coronavirus relief package.

“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” Trump said.

Trump said that while he would sign the bill, he would be making rescissions under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. The act allows the president to “impound funds when he transmits a ‘special message’ in accordance with the ICA,” according to the Government Accountability Office.

“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill,” Trump said. “I am signing this 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.”

Trump said that the House was set to vote on the increase to stimulus payments on Monday.

“On Monday the House will vote to increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000. Therefore, a family of four would receive $5,200,” Trump said. “Additionally, Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed.”

Trump’s plan to increase payments faces an uncertain House vote. Under suspended rules, the request would need the approval of a two-thirds majority of lawmakers. Republicans blocked an earlier effort to increase the payments, but some Republican aides believe there’s a chance the measure could be approved.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Trump to “call on congressional Republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000.”

“Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” Pelosi said.

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