After months of delay, Congress finally agreed to a COVID-19 relief measure — only to attach it to a “pork” filled omnibus spending bill to ensure its passage. President Donald Trump initially cried foul over the massive amounts of wasteful spending in the omnibus bill and the minimal relief for Americans in the COVID-19 bill, insinuating that he might veto the combined bills.
Nevertheless, on Sunday the president signed the legislation, Breitbart reported.
While the move likely stunned Trump’s supporters and opponents, the White House released a statement making it clear that the president remains unsatisfied with the bills and, by way of his statutory authority, would be demanding certain changes to the new laws before they go into effect.
Responsibility to Americans
The president noted in the White House statement that it was his responsibility to protect Americans from the “economic devastation” of the coronavirus pandemic and that, while some people have returned to work, his job wasn’t finished until everyone had been taken care of.
“I understand that many small businesses have been forced to close as a result of harsh actions by Democrat-run states. Many people are back to work, but my job is not done until everyone is back to work,” he wrote.”
Trump continued, “As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child.”
Trump invoked the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to demand certain “recissions” in the legislation, a move that essentially transfers authority over how certain funds are spent from the legislative to the executive branch.
Reservations and conditions
“I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill,” the statement continued.
“I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more,” he continued, referencing items in the funding package that were desperately needed and could no longer be delayed.
Likely as part of a deal reached with Congress in exchange for his signature, Trump demanded that both chambers act quickly to pass increased direct assistance payments to American families, repeal or reform the Section 230 liability protections for Big Tech in the Communications Decency Act, and hold investigatory hearings on allegations of voter fraud and election irregularities.
“Big Tech must not get protections of Section 230! Voter Fraud must be fixed! Much more money is coming. I will never give up my fight for the American people!” the president concluded.
The White House also sent a pair of letters to the leaders of both the House and Senate that informed them of the statutory authorities Trump was citing in order to demand recissions of parts of the legislation.