Trump signs COVID relief bill and government funding measure that he called a 'disgrace'
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Sunday night, President Donald Trump signed the pandemic relief and government-funding measure that he called a "disgrace."
Last week, Trump said in a video posted to Twitter: "I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple."
His comments blindsided members of both parties and upended months of negotiations when he demanded last week that the package — already passed the House and Senate by large margins and believed to have Trump’s support — be revised to include larger relief checks and scaled-back spending.
The bill Trump did sign Sunday includes $900 billion for pandemic relief and $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September. Millions of Americans will be getting $600 stimulus checks and people on unemployment will be getting a temporary $300/week additional benefit.
White House spokesperson Judd Deere insisted on Twitter Sunday night that Congress will now start addressing issues Trump considers important, including a review of "Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people."
Deere also said that "the House and Senate have agreed to focus strongly on the very substantial voter fraud which took place in the November 3 Presidential election." The Trump campaign has filed and lost dozens of lawsuits in several states over alleged election fraud, and the Electoral College has certified Joe Biden as the winner.
Last week, President-elect Biden called the bill a "downpayment" and said that he will seek additional help for struggling families once he is inaugurated.
"Like all compromises, this is far from perfect," Biden said. "Congress did their job this week, and I can and I must ask them to do it again next year."
Before Trump signed the bill on Sunday night, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said he understood that Trump "wants to be remembered for advocating for big checks, but the danger is he’ll be remembered for chaos and misery and erratic behavior if he allows this to expire."
As Trump delayed signing the bill, unemployment benefits for millions of Americans expired on Saturday night.