Entornointeligente.com / Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump earned a sharp rebuke from President-elect Joe Biden as Trump refused to sign the $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package.
Biden asked him to sign the bill immediately to save millions of Americans from losing their jobless benefits, which expire on Saturday.
“This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences?This bill is critical. It needs to be signed into law now,” Biden said in a statement.
Trump has refused to sign the bill, saying in a viral video that that it did not do enough to help everyday people.
He said he wanted the COVID-19 relief checks to be increased from $600 to $2,000 or $4000 per couple.
Trump stunned Republicans and Democrats alike when he said he was unhappy with the massive bill, which provides $892 billion in badly needed coronavirus relief, including extending special unemployment benefits expiring on Dec. 26, and $1.4 trillion for normal government spending.
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A partial government shutdown will begin on Tuesday unless Congress can agree a stop-gap government funding bill before then.
After months of wrangling, Republicans and Democrats agreed to the package last weekend, with the support of the White House.
Trump, who hands over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, did not object to terms of the deal before Congress voted it through on Monday night.
But since then he has complained that the bill gives too much money to special interests, cultural projects and foreign aid, while its one-time $600 stimulus checks to millions of struggling Americans were too small.
READ ALSO New Arab-Israeli ties gimmick for Trump’s reelection “I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” the president tweeted on Saturday.
Many economists agree the bill?s aid is too low but say the immediate support is still welcome and necessary.
A source familiar with the situation said Trump?s objection to the bill caught many White House officials by surprise. While the outgoing president?s strategy for the bill remains unclear, his repeated expression of discontent over it dashed hopes that he would sign.
Democratic U.S. Representative Don Beyer told CNN that Trump can still save the day if he signed the bill Saturday.
READ ALSO Donald Trump stokes racial divisions on America’s Independence Day “That means that the people on pandemic unemployment insurance, which runs out today, get to keep it?And the way forward if he signs this, on Monday the House will take up his $2,000 check ? direct check stuff ? which we?ve been for all along.”