Covid unemployment benefits lapse after Trump refuses to sign bill

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a lifeline for 7.3 million U.S. workers not working due to the coronavirus, expired at midnight on Sunday morning after President Donald Trump continued to sign the $ 2.3 trillion package combining government funding with Covid-19 relief to resist.

The bill – the result of protracted negotiations between both parties and the Trump administration that largely ousted the president himself – contains a $ 900 billion Covid-19 incentive package that will extend unemployment benefits: $ 114 to $ 357 weekly payments to unemployed gig workers and even unemployed people whose businesses came to a standstill.

That package will also extend the federal eviction moratorium, which expires on December 31st. Without expansion, millions could face an immediate housing crisis.

The legislation would also fund the federal government until September 2021. Without Trump’s signature, the government would close on Tuesday morning at midnight.

After Congress passed the bill late Monday with huge two-party support, Trump threw Washington into chaos by suddenly objecting to the size of a new round of direct payments, which came as news for his own assistants they met with the Congress negotiated. He demanded that lawmakers increase the amount to $ 2,000 and criticized other elements he called “pigs” included in the giant spending package, including annual payments for foreign aid.

Trump reiterated his criticism of the bill on Saturday, tweeting, “I simply want our great people to get $ 2000, rather than the meager $ 600 that is now in the bill.”

The Covid-19 aid package currently includes $ 600 in direct payments to Americans who earned less than $ 75,000 in the previous tax year.

The amount represents a compromise between Democrats, who wanted bigger checks, and Republicans, many of whom were opposed to additional direct payments.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who proposed the $ 600 checks and personally negotiated with the congressional leadership on the stimulus package, said in an interview with CNBC on Monday that Americans can see the checks quickly. This requires the president to sign the bill.

The House, where Republicans blocked Democrats from making a quick vote to collect the amount of checks to meet the president’s demand, is expected to consider a halt on Monday to prevent a federal strike and keep the government going until President-elect Joe Biden is elected. takes office on January 20th.

Biden called on Trump to sign the bill on Saturday in a strongly worded statement and the president’s failure to do so, a ‘abolition of responsibility’ with ‘devastating consequences’.

Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Also criticized the president for not signing the bill Sunday, saying, “Time is running out.”

Trump should sign the bill “because you do not get everything you want, even if you are the president of the United States,” he said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

If the bill was merely the independent government funding measure, Toomey said, “I will certainly vote against it.”

“But I think the Covid aid measures are really very important,” Toomey said, adding: “People are out of work, probably without their own fault. I think we need the extended unemployment benefits. I think we still have need a round of PPP loans, which are really grants to small businesses to keep their workforce part of their business, and time is short.

Toomey, who said he did not agree with $ 2,000 checks, added that he remains hopeful that Trump will approve the bill and prevent a closure.

“I think the president did not actually explicitly say he was going to veto this bill. I take that as a hopeful sign,” Toomey said. “I think when he leaves office I understand that he wants to be remembered because he pleads for big checks, but the danger is that he will be remembered for chaos and misery and erratic behavior if he lets it lapse. So I think the best thing to do, as I say, is to sign it and then sue for subsequent legislation. ‘

Trump spent the holidays at Mar-a-Lago, his private resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and visited his golf course, Trump International Golf Club, West Palm Beach, on Sunday, according to the traveling press bath report.