In veto threat, Trump wants $2000 checks in Covid bill

Washington: President Trump slammed the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package as a “disgrace” on Tuesday evening, urging Congress to amend the bill and increase the amount of money in direct payments to Americans.

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter.

Trump argued that the relief bill in its current form, which is included with $1.4 trillion in omnibus spending, has “almost nothing to do with COVID.”

“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it,” Trump said.

He noted that small businesses, particularly restaurants, have not been given enough money after their owners have “suffered so grievously.”

The package includes increased jobless benefits, another round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program for small business loans, a direct payment of $600 to individuals, and funds to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

The president warned that if the “wasteful and unnecessary items” are not removed from the legislation, the next administration will have to deliver a COVID-19 relief package.

“Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted in response to Trump’s request. “At last the President has agreed to $2,000.”

Pelosi said Democrats would be ready to bring an amendment to a vote this week by “unanimous consent,” adding: “Let’s do it!”

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