US President Donald Trump attested the coronavirus relief and spending package bill, averting a partial government shutdown.
The package of measures is linked to a bigger government spending bill, which includes foreign aid funding as well as a USD $1.4 trillion spending measure to fund federal agencies for the next nine months.
Trump earlier refused to sign the bill citing wasteful expenditure and called for $2,000 COVID relief checks, far more than $600 his own party agreed to during months long negotiations.
The delay would’ve halted unemployment benefits to at least 12 million Americans and some government agencies would have had to close.
The bill coronavirus aid relief bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives and Senate last Monday.
What Tump said earlier?
In a video message on Twitter he said the package “really is a disgrace”, full of “wasteful” items.
“It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” he said.
He said: “This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia, $134 million to Burma, $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25 million for democracy and gender programmes in Pakistan, $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.”
The president questioned why the Kennedy Center, a performing arts complex in Washington DC, was set to receive $40 million when it is not open, and more than $1 billion has been allocated to museums and galleries in the capital.
Mr Trump concluded: “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault. It was China’s fault.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple.
His statement stunned Capitol Hill. Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating a coronavirus stimulus rescue package since July.