Unemployment benefits expire and government closes because Trump refuses to sign bill

Unemployed benefits for millions of Americans expired on Sunday and the government will close on Monday at 23:59 as the fate of the COVID-19 economic relief package remained unclear. President Trump has yet to sign the $ 1.4 billion bill and the accompanying spending bill to fund the government that Congress adopted on December 21 after weeks of negotiations that members of Mr. Trump’s own government included.

An estimated 12 million Americans lost their unemployment benefits after two major government programs approved by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, expired on December 26, according to a study published last week by The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank was made.

Mr. Trump refused to sign the bill on the $ 600 stimulus checks, but instead insisted on $ 2,000 checks. Over the weekend, he also instructed Congress to get rid of the “pork” in the bill, although he did not specify what he meant by pork, which usually refers to appendices added to bills that include pets or local causes of members of Congress. .

Housewife Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House would vote Monday on a stand-alone bill that would give Americans $ 2,000 checks. She said the bill was blocked by Republicans.

“Today, on Christmas morning, Republicans of the House have brutally deprived the American people of the $ 2,000 that the president has agreed to support. If the president is serious about the direct payments of $ 2,000, he should appeal to the Republicans of the House are doing to end their obstruction, “Pelosi said. in a statement Thursday morning. “On Monday, I will bring the House back to the session where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $ 2,000.”

The massive $ 900 billion COVID-19 bill includes not only the $ 600 incentive checks, but also improved unemployment benefits, $ 284.45 billion in small business loans, $ 25 billion in direct rental assistance, $ 82 billion in education funding , $ 45 billion for public transportation systems and $ 13 billion for increased food stamps and childcare benefits.

The bill also extends the eviction moratorium by another month. If not implemented, millions of tenants who have lost their rent could be evicted.

In addition to economic relief, the deal is also earmarked for more than $ 30 billion to support the acquisition and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine and $ 27 billion for testing and state health programs.

Elected President Joe Biden Saturday encouraged Mr. Trump to sign the bill.

“It’s the day after Christmas, and millions of families do not know if they can do it because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill passed by Congress by an overwhelming and twofold majority,” he said. Mr. Biden said in a statement Saturday.

Mr. Trump is in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago resort for the holidays.