Congress sends Covid package and spending measure to Trump
Congress sent the massive coronavirus stimulus package and annual budget measure to President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon, despite the president signaling that it does not support the bill as written.
Both the House and Senate registered the bill on Thursday. Now, the 5,000-page legislation will be sent immediately to Mar-a-Lago, where Trump is currently staying.
The president has put the fate of the bill at risk by expressing frustration with the $ 600 stimulus checks included in the package and pushing for $ 2,000 direct payments instead. Trump's complaints about the content of the bill come after largely leaving negotiations to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. By earlier this week, White House officials suggested that the president legally sign the package.
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A Trump veto on the spending bill, which both chambers overwhelmingly passed, could spell a possible government shutdown. Without the president's signature, the state funds will be used up on Monday evening. The House is already preparing a possible short-term ongoing solution if Trump actually rejects the package, although Trump would also have to legally sign it.
The uncertainty surrounding the legislation stems from the fact that several safety net programs will end in the coming days unless the president signs the bill. The unemployment support pandemic program expires on December 31st. The final controls for millions of independent contractors and self-employed will expire on December 26th. In addition, a separate program is planned to extend unemployment insurance from 26 weeks to 39 weeks by December 31st.
The latest coronavirus aid package from Congress also extends the eviction moratorium after December 31 and until the end of January. The moratorium will prevent landlords from removing tenants during the pandemic.
Eleanor Mueller contributed to this report.
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