After months of deliberation, Congress passed the bipartisan $900 billion covid-19 relief package. The bill provides unemployed Americans with payments of $600 to families, small business benefits, and funding to help with vaccine distribution. The 5,000-page legislation was flown from Washington to Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida where the President is vacationing over the holiday. He spent the following day playing golf while millions of unemployed Americans lined up at food distribution centers in dire need of government assistance.
However, the President has protested the bill, asking for larger checks. If he fails to sign the bill, it could cause irreversible harm to the economy and the American people. Trump’s final ‘act of faith’ is negatively affecting millions of Americans’ lives and futures, and will create permanent damages to individuals.
Trump’s demands for more money is only delaying the checks that are supposed to be distributed to unemployed Americans. In retrospect, more money would be the ideal situation for every American, but there is only so much room in the set budget, and the most important factor in this is time.
President Trump threatened to veto the bill unless the check values are increased from $600 to $2,000. The timing of this though is jeopardizing a government shutdown on Tuesday. Millions of Americans could lose crucial unemployment aid as a result. The aid also provides benefits for businesses that could permanently close if the money is stalled.
Trump’s changes to the COVID relief packages this week surprised lawmakers. The President wants to have the bill include a bigger one-time check for families. The bipartisan effort was negotiated by Trump’s own Treasury Secretary while the President made few appearances in talks. Many Republicans were surprised by the President’s response after they had overwhelmingly supported the bill. In fact, Trump’s critiques of government funding were in accordance with the White House’s original financial asks.
If Trump fails to approve the bill, there would be further economic impacts on American families that many will not be able to overcome. Even delaying the checks by a few weeks will do financial damage to families but, if Trump does sign the bill, families will be compensated for the missed weeks.
President-Elect Joe Biden criticized the delay, “this abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences”.
At this point in Trump’s political career, this decision he is making will hurt Americans instead of offering more financial leeway. President Trump’s decision appears to be a final power grab rather than a good intention.
Update Sunday 10:26pm
President Trump has now signed the bill into law. But, because of his delay in doing so, he now leaves Americans in the unemployment programs without checks for the final week of the year. Also, those who receive pandemic compensation will likely have to wait several weeks for their payments. In regards to increasing the check amounts, the House is set to vote on Monday to expand the payments from $600 to $2,000 per the President’s request.