Washington, United States:
President Donald Trump on Tuesday rejected a massive economic aid package from Covid that was passed by Congress, calling it “a shame” in an act of political brinkmanship less than a month before he is due to step down and when millions of Americans fall under suffer from the pandemic.
Trump dropped the bomb over a pre-recorded statement made at the White House and posted on Twitter.
It came just a day after its Republicans and Democrats finally overwhelmingly agreed to a $ 900 billion bill designed to provide a lifeline to businesses and people struggling to stay afloat.
In his address, Trump said he would refuse to take the bill as it is and called for changes, particularly a large increase in the proposed $ 600 direct payments to less affluent Americans.
“I’m calling on Congress to change this bill and increase the ridiculously low $ 600 to $ 2,000 or $ 4,000 for a couple,” he said, referring to auxiliary reviews.
Trump resorted to his nationalist “America First” brand, and also criticized measures included in the bill during complex negotiations to fund projects that benefit US overseas partners and other non-Covid-related matters such as the environment .
“It really is a shame,” he said. “I also urge Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary elements of this legislation and simply send me an appropriate invoice.”
Trump has not yet received the bill and he has not specifically said he would not sign. If he did veto the package, Congress would almost certainly quickly override that, given the support from both parties.
The White House announced late Tuesday that 20 people had been selected in what is broadly meant to be just part of a series of presidential pardons and commutations issued in the final days of government.
These included two Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation into the Trump campaign’s links with Moscow, condemned in special counseling, and four men convicted in connection with the mass murder of 17 Iraqi civilians.
– power struggle –
The Covid package is wrapped in a nearly 5,600-page “Coronabus” invoice valued at US $ 2.3 trillion, which contains a so-called collective invoice to finance the government for the coming year.
A congressional override of a veto would be an embarrassing defeat for Trump, who is spending his final weeks prior to the inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden on Jan. 20, making unprecedented attempts to overturn the election results.
However, until he has the bill on his desk, he does not have to veto.
And Trump’s motives for voting to fight with Congress are intertwined with his extraordinarily ongoing struggle to reverse the November 3rd election.
Despite courts across the country denying his unfounded fraud allegations, he has enough allies on the right-wing Republican Party – and a loyal following among some voters – to continue trying to derail the president’s traditionally smooth transition.
He urged again on Tuesday in a second long video statement from the White House, claiming he won on a “landslide”.
His challenge now puts the Republican Party in a difficult position, forcing lawmakers who angered him by declaring Biden the real winner to decide if they dare to continue to oppose him and risk destroying Covid’s relief.
Democratic leaders immediately rushed to insist that their party was in favor of higher individual aid payments from the start.
“We tried to secure checks for $ 2,000 for months, but the Republicans blocked them,” said Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer on Twitter.
“Trump has to sign the bill to help the people and keep the government open, and we’re happy to see more help that Americans need. Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to do it again to block. “
“Finally the president has approved $ 2,000 – the Democrats are ready to unanimously speak up this week. Let’s do it!” said Nancy Pelosi, spokeswoman for the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)