Trump hijacks stimulus package, leaving millions without aid

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The expectation of a new stimulus worth 900,000 million dollars suggested that January would be smoothed out for US citizens. However, President Donald Trump and his demand to raise direct payments to taxpayers from $600 to $2,000 have left the tax package up in the air.

Pending a speedy resolution, nearly 10 million Americans, including many the self-employed, will no longer receive unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, federal agencies could close this Tuesday. The bipartisan bill endorsed by both Houses of the Capitol was not signed on time. These were two additional programs to help the unemployed, which expired on Saturday, December 26. 

However, Trump continued his criticism of the tax package over the weekend. Again, he demanded the checks be distributed to taxpayers. He also attacked the $1.4 trillion government funding bill to which the stimulus plan was attached, calling some of its items reckless.

Trump tweeted that he wants to get people to receive $2,000, instead of the insignificant $600.

It is not yet clear whether Trump will veto the bill entirely or end up signing it. 

Joe Biden, the United States president-elect, effusively criticized Trump’s refusal to sign the bill. He stated that after Christmas and millions of families do not know if they will make ends meet due to President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic aid bill. 

Raising checks would increase the stimulus by $390 billion to a total of $1.3 trillion

So far, the White House tenant had not moved while legislators are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Monday. It is not clear whether they will reach a compromise that responds to the president’s objections. On Thursday, Republicans in the House of Representatives blocked the Democratic effort to approve by unanimous consent raising direct aid to $2,000. According to Andrew Hollenhorst, Citi’s chief economist, raising checks to that amount would increase the stimulus by $390 billion to a total of $1.3 trillion. 

Should Trump veto the bill, the Capitol would have enough votes to overturn it. That said, if the president does not act, the bill could have to be reviewed again since the new term of Congress begins on January 3. If Trump did not sign or veto the proposal under normal conditions, it would automatically become law in ten days. But given the recomposition of the Chambers, this alternative would not be effective.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democratic lawmakers would vote on a separate bill on Monday to provide $2,000 in direct payments to Americans. Democratic members of Congress are also expected to review an interim measure to keep the government funded until Biden takes office. The president-elect has promised more stimulus once he takes office on January 20.

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