Christmas Miracle or Trump's Final Fake Out? President Waits Until Last Minute to Hold Up Stimulus Checks With $2,000 Demand and Veto Threat
Just as Democrats and Republicans in Congress finally agreed on how much (or rather, how little) stimulus money to throw at the American people, President Trump has emerged in his favorite role as the lead troll to play with our emotions again.
In a video released Tuesday night, the president implied he would not sign the $ 900 billion COVID-19 relief bill recently passed by Congress unless the one in the stimulus checks for Americans stated amount of $ 600 would be increased to $ 2,000.
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“I also urge Congress to promptly eliminate the wasteful and unnecessary elements of this legislation and send me an appropriate invoice. Otherwise, the next administration will have to deliver a COVID aid package, and maybe I will be that administration. Said Trump.
I agree with Trump's description that the $ 600 stimulus checks are the "bare minimum" for the American people, but his threat to hold any money at all, from going out until January - or if he somehow stays in office by going out wins a election he lost too many times to count - feels like another example of the fake stunts we've had to deal with by him over the past four years. It is also not the first time that Trump has been playing around with our money in this economy.
GTFOH Trump Watch: Why the $ 2,000 Trump Stimulus Check is Bullshit
Democrats, who initially pushed for more money during the stimulus checks but were repeatedly shot down by Senate Republicans, responded to Trump's announcement Tuesday by unanimously approving his proposal - essentially, the ball final in his and the GOP's court to provide decent money to a nation of citizens still in crisis.
"Mr. President, sign the bill to keep the government open," Nancy Pelosi tweeted Wednesday morning. "Urge McConnell and McCarthy to approve the unanimous Democratic approval of US $ 2,000 direct payments! This can be done until Christmas Eve until noon happen! "
House Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also stood up Tuesday evening to jointly draft an amendment to the existing relief law, leaving it to Trump and the Senate Republicans to decide whether to sign the higher checks.
Trump has not said anything publicly since his intervention in the eleventh hour, thus creating the conditions for another lengthy shutdown. This would likely result in a delay in the stimulus funds, which are reaching us soon, although according to Trump's own Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, they were scheduled to go live next week.
Trump could veto the bill that would have made this possible, but Congress could override that veto. Also, according to the New York Times, Republicans are unlikely to vote unanimously in Congress to raise the $ 2,000. We'll either get $ 600 soon or we won't get anything until Trump leaves office.
Fortunately, President-elect Biden has already signaled his plans to campaign for another stimulus package with additional funds for Americans when he takes office in January.
From the time:
Mr Biden said he intended to ask Congress to pass another bill that would provide more funding for firefighters, police officers and nurses. He said his bill would include a new round of stimulus checks for Americans, but that the amount of money they contained would be a matter of negotiation.
His focus is on having the money to distribute vaccines to 300 million people, helping Americans lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, and helping companies stay open.
Like everyone else, I am ready for Americans to make more than $ 600. But I can't help but be exhausted from Trump's shenanigans, and I want us to at least get something soon. It is cruel to play with the lives of people whose economic well-being has been in balance for months during this pandemic crisis - and for what feels like nothing but politics.
We'll see if this drama turns out to be something else.
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