After months of bipartisan bickering and stalemates on negotiating a COVID-19 relief package, Congress finally came together last week and passed a $900 billion bill.
However, President Donald Trump immediately halted the process and demanded an increase in stimulus payments to Americans and asked Congress to strip out the excess foreign pork. According to Fox News, Trump doubled down on his demands on Friday as the country watches and waits to see what he’ll do.
The president’s original demand to increase the stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 caused an immediate rift within the ranks of the Republican party, with some agreeing and some taking a stand against including any direct payments in the bill.
Trump’s Friday tweet will likely further cause divide and debate in the GOP, as he made crystal clear that he doesn’t seem interested in signing the bill until his demands are met.
“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!” Trump tweeted.
The nearly 6,000-page bill, which was dropped on the desks of lawmakers and senators on the day of the vote, was widely criticized for the unbelievably amount of excess foreign spending included in what was supposed to be a COVID-19 relief bill.
According to CBS News, even though Democrats agree with the president that the stimulus amount should be increased, the bill was sent to the president as he spent Christmas in his Florida home.
As of this writing, the bill is still sitting in limbo with one of the most immediate and concerning consequences of triggering a U.S. government shutdown unless the president signs or Congress comes up with a new version to meet the president’s demands, both of which seem to be unlikely scenarios at this point.