Just hours after both houses of Congress passed a 5,000 page COVID-19 relief bill; President Trump threatens to veto the legislation because it does not go far enough to help economically disadvantaged Americans.
In a brief Twitter video, Trump calls the relief bill, which passed with a vote of 92-6 in the Senate and 359-53 in the House, a “disgrace,” citing the skinny nature of the stimulus to American families and small businesses, and how long it took to pass. Almost every nay vote was cast by Republicans.
Trump criticized Democrats for ‘cruelly blocking’ COVID-19 relief legislation over the summer “in an attempt to advance their extreme left-wing agenda and influence the election.”
The bill proposes a $600 one time stimulus check for every American earning less than $75,000, and is gradually reduced for people earning less $99,000, half that of the $1,200 stimulus check earlier this year. Qualifying families will receive a $600 check for each child under 18. The relief package also includes a $300 per week unemployment insurance enhancer lasting 11-weeks.
The Paycheck Protection Program will also receive new funding to grant loans to businesses with fewer than 300 employees.
Trump said despite its name, the bill “has almost nothing to do with COVID.” He cites billions of dollars allocated for foreign aid and federally owned facilities.
“The $900 billion package provides hardworking taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments and not enough money is given to small businesses.” Trump adds, “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries lobbyist and special interest while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault, it was China’s fault.”
Trump is calling on Congress to increase the stimulus check from $600 to $2,000 per person, or $4,000 for a married couple, and to cut out pork from the bill.
Congress passed the COVID Relief Act with a veto proof majority, gathering together more than 2/3 of each house to vote in favor of the legislation, so regardless of Trump’s veto the bill will likely be passed into law unless Congress decides on a last minute revision.
Shortly after Trump’s Twitter statement, Speaker Pelosi came out in full support of increasing the stimulus to $2,000 per person.
“Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000,” Pelosi tweeted. She added that Democrats would throw “unanimous” support behind the measure.