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Trump signs Covid relief and government funding bill days after he suggested he would block it

President Donald Trump signed a massive coronavirus relief and government funding package into law Sunday, days after he sent Washington into a panic by suggesting he could veto the bill. He refused to approve the legislation for days after receiving it, blowing past a Saturday deadline to prevent an estimated 14 million people from temporarily losing unemployment insurance.

The measure extends the expanded jobless benefits into March, but millions are expected to lose a week of benefits covering these people due to Trump’s delay in signing the bill. Unemployed Americans eligible to receive a $300 weekly supplement will also get the additional money later than they could have.

The government would have shut down Tuesday during a deadly pandemic if Trump did not approve the legislation. The president called the bill a “disgrace” on Tuesday night — after Congress already approved it following talks which included his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Trump claimed he opposed the bill because it included $600 rather than $2,000 direct payments to most Americans, and because the $1.4 trillion government spending portion of the package included foreign aid money. The president’s own White House has included those funds in its budgets.

After Trump expressed support for larger checks, Democrats embraced his stance. The Democratic-held House plans to vote on a measure to increase the payments to $2,000 on Monday.

Trump signs Covid relief and government funding bill days after he suggested he would block it, CNBC, Dec 28

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