After nearly a week of coronavirus relief and government spending packages were put on hold, Trump finally changed his mind. According to the U.S. political news website Politico, on the evening of December 27 local time, Trump signed a total of $2.3 trillion in the coronavirus relief and federal government’s comprehensive spending bill to avoid the government shutdown on December 29 local time. According to the Associated Press, Trump was on vacation at the West Palm Beach Golf Course that day. The bill was sent to Trump’s private residence in Florida for signature.
According to the U.S. Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), Trump also issued a statement that the House of Representatives will vote on direct payments from $600 to $2,000 on December 28 local time, and the Senate will vote on it later. Trump will also send a “official revocation request” to Congress, asking the bill to delete unnecessary funds.
On December 24th local time, Democrats in Congress took action to try to increase the amount of direct payment, but the plan was not approved by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
On December 22nd local time, Trump posted a video on social media expressing his dissatisfaction with individual provisions of the package, calling it “completely a shame” and hinting that he might refuse to sign the bill. Subsequently, White House advisers did not provide any public briefings on Trump’s plan and refused to comment on Trump’s intention to do so. The Washington Post pointed out that until December 27 local time, negotiations between Congress and the government remained deadlocked. However, on the evening of December 27 local time, Trump suddenly changed his previous attitude and tweeted that “there is good news in the coronavirus relief bill”, and soon signed a package of bills.
U.S. media said that Trump was under pressure from Republicans.
According to The Washington Post, three people familiar with the matter said that Trump has repeatedly changed his mind on the bill. It is not clear what prompted him to suddenly change his attitude, but he has been under great pressure from Republicans to sign the bill.
According to Fox News, on December 27 local time, Pennsylvania Senator and Republican Toomey pointed out, “I understand that he (Trump) wants the public to remember his willingness to pay the cheque generously, but if he refuses to sign the bill, the public will only remember his chaotic and strange behavior.” “So, I think the best way is for him to sign the bill and prepare for subsequent legislation,” Toomey added.
Toomey also noted that most Republicans did not support Trump’s proposal to pay people $2,000 directly because it was “very untargeted”. Even if you are the President of the United States, you will not get everything you want.
“Trump’s cost of playing such old tricks is so much that I don’t understand,” said Rep. Adam Kinsinger, a Republican from Illinois, according to the Associated Press. “I don’t understand what he’s doing and why he’s doing it,” Kinsinger explained. Unless he is just frustrated by losing the election and wants to create chaos and show his power.”
In addition, Republicans are worried that Trump’s delay in signing the bill may endanger the runoff for Georgia’s Senate seat on January 5 next year.
Congressman: Denial of the bill will cause great pain to the country.
The Washington Post said that if the bill was not signed into law before Tuesday, the government would inevitably shut down. Millions of government workers will not receive wages, staff in key positions will continue to work without income, and non-critical personnel will be forced to take unpaid leave.
In addition to the government shutdown, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, if Trump does not sign the rescue bill, about 14 million people will not be able to continue to receive unemployment benefits and make ends meet. Eviction protections will also expire in a few days, meaning people who cannot afford rent will lose their homes. In addition, new funds that would have been used to distribute vaccines, rescue small businesses and the sluggish aviation industry will also be frozen.
A mother from an unemployed family revealed in an interview with The Washington Post that her family’s savings have bottomed out, making a living is very difficult, and she is unable to pay for her son’s medical expenses, so she urgently needs unemployment assistance. She said, “Without this money, people will die. People will be homeless and unable to pay for medical expenses. $600 or $2,000 is nothing for lawmakers, but for the American people, this money is everything.”
Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement saying that voting against the bill was denying the financial difficulties faced by families and denying the relief they needed.
Sen. Bernie Sanders also urged Trump to sign the bill, saying the country would suffer greatly if Trump could not sign the bill before the deadline for the government shutdown, ABC reported.