The U.S. is susceptible to authorities shutdown as Trump opposes Reuters’ COVID-19 aid deal

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump participates in a pre-game coin toss before the annual Army-Navy college football game at Michie Stadium in West Point

By Andy Sullivan and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans faced the prospect of a government shutdown amid a pandemic on Wednesday when outgoing President Donald Trump, angry at his Republicans in Congress, threatened not to see a government funding and coronavirus bailout of $ 2 To sign for $ 3 trillion.

The package, which contained $ 892 billion to ease the coronavirus crisis, ended months of negotiations between Congressional Republicans and Democrats.

It also pays off for government operations through September 2021. If Trump blocks it, large parts of the U.S. government will close next week for lack of funds.

Trump surprised some of his closest officials in a video posted on social media Tuesday night by calling for the bill to be revised to pay $ 2,000 to every American, more than three times the $ 600 each Person.

A source familiar with the situation said aides stopped Trump from asking for $ 2,000 last week only to learn that he hadn’t given up when he posted the video. That even surprised his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who attended the talks and supported the $ 600 figure.

Trump was upset when Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in Congress, recognized Democrat Joe Biden’s defeat by Trump in their November campaign last week, another source said. Biden will take office on January 20th.

Trump did not specifically say he would veto the measure, apparently hoping Congress would modify a complex package that took months to negotiate. On Sunday the White House said Trump would legally sign it.

In the video, Trump also requested that the bill remove the foreign aid that is included in every annual federal spending bill – and was requested by his own administration last year. He also turned down other government activities funded from the 5,500-page bill, such as fish farming and funding the Smithsonian museums.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill with ample bipartisan leeway and could return to Washington to overturn a veto if necessary.


Some Congressional Democrats, who viewed the aid package as too small a response to a crisis that left more than 320,000 Americans dead and millions of people unemployed, welcomed Trump’s move.

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said the House of Representatives could vote to increase those payments Thursday if Republican House Chairman Kevin McCarthy approves it.

“Mr. President, sign the bill to keep the government open! Call on McConnell and McCarthy to approve the Democratic unanimous consent for $ 2,000 direct payments! This can be done until Christmas Eve until noon!” She replied to Trump on Twitter.

McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A veto would put Trump’s Republicans in an awkward position. Many of them turned down the $ 2,000 payments that Trump is now calling for too expensive, and they would have to either defy their party’s leader or change their position on those payments.

The current federal funding will expire on Monday if Trump doesn’t sign the bill. He is supposed to go to Florida on Wednesday afternoon for the Christmas vacation.

A loss of funding would worry millions of federal workers and shut down much of the U.S. government when it comes to distributing two coronavirus vaccines and battling a massive hack officials attribute to Russia, which Moscow denies.

Trump has also threatened to veto a $ 740 billion defense bill that has been passed every year since 1961.

Trump doesn’t like this bill because it would strip the names of generals who served the slave-friendly Confederation from military bases and because it doesn’t remove liability coverage for social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook (NASDAQ :), which have nothing to do with defense has to do. that Trump considers conservatives like himself to be unfriendly.

The House plans to return on December 28 if Trump rejects the defense policy bill. This is the day the state funds run out.

In Georgia, where control of the U.S. Senate hangs on two January 5 runoff elections, Democrats urged incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to say whether they agreed to Trump that the $ 600 payments were too low be. None of the campaigns immediately responded to a request for comment.

Congress is set to be adjourned by the end of the year, which means that the bill will automatically be vetoed after 10 days even if Trump does not take action in what is known as a “pocket veto”.

Trump set off a record 35-day government shutdown two years ago when he turned down a federal spending bill because of insufficient funding to build a border wall between the US and Mexico.

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