After months of waiting, Congress finally passed a sweeping coronavirus relief package early this week. Carrying a price tag of over $900 billion dollars and tied in with the latest government spending bill worth a total of $1.4 trillion, the legislation is nearly 6,000 pages long, according to Politico.
Deep within those pages is a provision that would send $600 checks to most Americans, a number House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called “significant.” Now, however, President Donald Trump is calling Pelosi’s bluff — and she’s been left scrambling.
According to the Washington Examiner, Democrats were backed into a corner and forced to oblige after Trump demanded that the direct relief checks to Americans amount to $2,000 instead of just $600. Pelosi reportedly sent a memo to Democrats early Wednesday saying she’d seek to bring the checks up to $2,000 with unanimous consent.
But according to CBS News, the bill was blocked by House Republicans Thursday. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there will be a full House vote on the measure next week,” CBS reported.
“It really is a disgrace”
Following the vote, Pelosi accused House GOP members of “cruelly [depriving] the American people of the $2,000 that the President agreed to support.”
“If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction,” she added, according to CBS. “On Monday, I will bring the House back to session where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000.”
Trump made his opinion on the matter clear in a video posted to Twitter late Tuesday. In it, the president complained that the omnibus spending bill includes too much aid to foreign countries, and not enough to Americans.
“It really is a disgrace,” Trump said. “For example, among the more than 5,000 pages in this bill, which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity — it’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
Among those snubbed by the legislation include small business owners and, in particular, restaurant owners, Trump said.
“Amend this bill”
Trump charged in his video that “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it.”
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple. I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation,” he declared. Take a look:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020