President Trump suggests he might not sign Covid relief bill

President Donald Trump, © AP/Press Association Images

US President Donald Trump has suggested he may not sign the bipartisan 900 billion dollar (£670 billion) pandemic relief package that was passed by Congress unless more money is delivered to individual Americans.

Mr Trump complained in a video on Twitter that the bill delivered too much money to foreign countries, but not enough to American citizens.

The bill provides for a 600 dollar (£450) payment to most Americans, but the president said he is asking Congress to amend the bill and “increase the ridiculously low 600 dollars to 2,000 dollars (£1,500), or 4,000 dollars (£3,000) for a couple.

“I am also asking Congress to get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill.”

The relief package was part of a hard-fought compromise bill that includes 1.4 trillion dollars (£1.05 trillion) to fund government agencies until September and contains other end-of-session priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems, an increase in food stamp benefits and about 4 billion dollars (£3 billion) to help other nations provide a Covid-19 vaccine for their people.

It sped through the House and Senate in a matter of hours on Monday as politicians worked to close the books on the year.

While many complained about being given so little time to read the bill, they overwhelmingly voted for it as local businesses and constituents seek economic relief from the pandemic

The Senate cleared the package by a 92-6 vote after the House approved it by another lopsided vote, 359-53. Those votes totals would be enough to override a veto should Mr Trump decide to take that step.


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