President Donald Trump has reportedly signed the $900 billion coronavirus stimulus bill and the $1.4 trillion spending bill thus averting a potential government shutdown.
Sources told Axios that Trump will sign the current bill, which provides for $600 checks for most Americans, and will then will continue to push for that amount to be brought up to the $2,000 that he demanded last week. The Washington Post reported similar news that Trump would sign the bill into law but cautioned that the situation remained fluid because Trump had “repeatedly changed his mind on the matter.”
However, a report from Politico stated that Trump had already signed the coronavirus stimulus package and the spending bill into law ahead of the Monday night deadline to avert a government shutdown.
The news broke after Trump tweeted on Sunday evening: “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!”
The news follows Trump tweeting out a video of himself last week calling for the $600 checks to be beefed up to $2,000 and $4,000 for couples. In the video, Trump called out billions of dollars in foreign aid that were included in the government spending bill.
“Throughout the summer, Democrats cruelly blocked COVID relief legislation in an effort to advance their extreme left-wing agenda and influence the election,” Trump began. “Then, a few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people. It’s taken forever. However, the bill they are planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated.”
“For example, among the more than 5,000 pages in this bill, which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity,” he said. “It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
“This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia; $134 million to Burma; $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian Military which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian Military equipment; $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan; $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama; $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., which is not even open for business; $1 billion for the Smithsonian; and an additional $154 million for the National Gallery of Art; $7 million for reef fish management; $25 million to combat Asian carp; $2.5 million to count the number of Amber Jack fish in the Gulf of Mexico, a provision to promote the breeding of fish in federal hatcheries; $3 million in poultry production technology; $2 million to research the impact of downed trees; $566 million for construction projects at the FBI,” Trump said. “The bill also allows stimulus checks for the family members of illegal aliens, allowing them to get up to $1,800 each. This is far more than the Americans are given.”
“Despite all of this wasteful spending and much more, the $900 billion package provides hard-working taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments and not enough money is given to small businesses and in particular restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously,” Trump said. “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault, it was China’s fault, not their fault.”
“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump concluded. “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package.”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.