Trump Calls on Congress to Increase the COVID Relief Bill

"President Trump Delivers Remarks" (public domain) by The White House

On Tuesday night, President Trump called for Congress to reconsider the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and increase the check that will be distributed to Americans from $600 to $2,000.

President Trump said in a video posted on Twitter, “I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000 or $4000 per couple,” he continued and said, “It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”

Trump went on and said, “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items in this legislation or to send me a suitable bill.” He then listed the millions of dollars that were included in the 5,593-page package. Including them was the cash for two National Mall museums, $ 2.5 million for “internet freedom.” and $10 million for “gender programs” in Pakistan.

Trump also stated that with the bill that was approved by Congress, the American people merely have the “bare minimum.”

In the video, Trump also said, “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple.” The President also mentioned that the next administration might have to deal with the stimulus package and stated that “maybe that administration will be me, and we will get it done.”

On Monday, the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 relief package sped through the House and Senate. It was agreed upon by party leaders and the White House after months of deadlock. There were also details in the package that were seemingly unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.

In general, the bill authorizes $600 stimulus checks for Americans earning less than $75,000 per year. There will also be an extra $600 payment per child. $300 will also be given weekly for unemployment insurance supplement, and the $284.4 billion Paycheck Protection Program forgivable for small businesses.

Schools and colleges also got a big cut with an allocation of $82 billion. Meanwhile, $40 billion was allocated for vaccine distribution and virus testing. The government will also give aid to rental assistance with an allocation of $25. A hefty amount is also provided for live entertainment venues with $15 billion.

However, some lawmakers are expressing their concern about passing the huge amount of relief package without much time to review it.

The Senate approved the COVID-19 relief bill on Monday night by a 92-6 vote after the House approved it by 359-53 vote. After passing through the Senate, the bill was sent to President Trump for his signature.

Although Trump did not threaten to veto the COVID-19 relief package in the video released on Tuesday, if he chose to make that move, those vote totals would be enough to override a veto.

After President Trump released the 4-minute video, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied to the President’s request for the higher stimulus package, saying, “Let’s do it!”

The Democratic House Speaker tweeted, “Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks.” She continued and said, “At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!”

President Trump’s position with the relief package could threaten the carefully drafted bill which was negotiated in his own administration. His move could also lead to a government shutdown and bring the economy into a rapid descent if he pushes through with a veto.

President Trump, who will leave office on January 20, is expected to sign the bill into law following its passage through Congress last Monday.