The president spent the week indicating that he would decline any coronavirus relief bill that didn’t include $2000 stimulus checks for every American. Lawmakers urged him to sign the massive bill that included $600 stimulus checks, fearing a government shutdown and the expiration of expanded unemployment benefits for Americans out of work due to COVID-19.
Though the current bill provides $600 checks for most Americans, Trump still wants that amount to be pushed to $2,000. In a statement, Trump said he House would “vote to increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000” on Monday.
On ABC’s This Week, Senator Bernie Sanders said that the bill needed to be passed to help keep vulnerable Americans in their homes.
“What the president is doing right now is unbelievably cruel. Many millions of people are losing their extended unemployment benefits,” he said. “They’re going to be evicted from their apartments. There’s money in that bill.”
Trump teased his signing of the bill on Twitter Sunday night, several days after a reported signing ceremony at Trump’s Floridian home in Mar-A-Lago was allegedly scrapped.
“Good news on Covid Relief Bill,” he wrote. “Information to follow.”
Shortly thereafter, reporters began to share anonymously sourced reports that Trump signed the bill. NYT confirmed the news later in the night.
The $2.3 trillion spending package includes $900 billion in coronavirus relief, with the rest of the outlay going to fund the government through the fiscal year. Along with the $600 stimulus checks Trump called “measly,” the bill includes unemployment benefits, funds for vaccine distribution and another round of funding for small business loans.