President-elect Joe Biden urged outgoing President Donald Trump to sign the Covid relief bill passed earlier this week in a Saturday statement. Biden noted that “millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet” due to Trump’s “abdication of responsibility” which will lead to “devastating consequences.”
After weeks of negotiations between a Republican-led Senate and a Democratic-led House of Representatives, a bipartisan measure was agreed to early last week. On Tuesday night, however, President Trump sowed deep chaos in the legislative effort when he released a four-minute video that mocked the bill’s paltry $600 per citizen relief check, asking for $2,000 per citizen and $4,000 per couple. Democratic Congressional leadership immediately rallied for that level of support as that was what they were asking for all along.
The Covid Relief bill was wrapped with an omnibus spending bill designed to keep the government open and functioning, which Trump derided due to Foreign Aid line items, apparently unaware that was directly requested from his own State Department.
On Thursday, President Trump left the White House to spend the holidays at his resort Mar-A-Lago and has enjoyed multiple golf outings while the nation awaits any action on the stimulus bill.
Read the full statement below.
It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority.
This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences. Today, about 10 million Americans will lose unemployment insurance benefits. In just a few days, government funding will expire, putting vital services and paychecks for military personnel at risk. In less than a week, a moratorium on evictions expires, putting millions at risk of being forced from their homes over the holidays. Delay means more small businesses won’t survive this dark winter because they lack access to the lifeline they need, and Americans face further delays in getting the direct payments they deserve as quickly as possible to help deal with the economic devastation caused by COVID-19. And while there is hope with the vaccines, we need funding to be able to distribute and administer them to millions of Americans, including frontline health care workers.
This bill is critical. It needs to be signed into law now. But it is also a first step and down payment on more action that we’ll need to take early in the new year to revive the economy and contain the pandemic — including meeting the dire need for funding to distribute and administer the vaccine and to increase our testing capacity.
In November, the American people spoke clearly that now is a time for bipartisan action and compromise. I was heartened to see members of Congress heed that message, reach across the aisle, and work together. President Trump should join them, and make sure millions of Americans can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads in this holiday season.
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