Trump Finally Signs COVID-19 Relief Bill After Threatening Veto Over Stimulus Checks

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving on November 26, 2020. (Photo by Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images)
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December 28, 2020 7:45 a.m.
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President Donald Trump signed Congress’ bipartisan $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, which had been combined with a $1.4 trillion government funding bill, on Sunday night after threatening to veto it over his demand to increase stimulus payments for many Americans to $2,000.

In a White House announcement laying out his decision, Trump reiterated his complaints about the bill and stated he would send a “redlined version” of the measure to Congress after approving it in its original form, which will send $600 payments. He insisted that he was sending a “strong message” to Congress.

The President noted that the Democrat-controlled House would be voting on a stand-alone bill on Monday to increase those payments to the $2,000 he had demanded. House Republicans had blocked the Democrats’ efforts to amend the bill regarding the payments last week.

The President also stated that the GOP-controlled Senate will “start the process for a vote” to bump up the payments.

“Much more money is coming. I will never give up my fight for the American people!” Trump said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement that the development was “welcome news” as she further pressed her GOP colleagues to follow their party leader’s push for increased relief checks and approve the stand-alone bill.

“Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” the Democratic leader said.

Prior to approving the package, the President tweeted on Sunday that there would be more “information” regarding the bill on Monday.

Unemployment benefits had lapsed over the weekend amid Trump’s refusal to sign the measure.

The President’s about-face narrowly avoided a looming government shutdown on Tuesday.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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