President Trump Calls For $2,000 Stimulus Checks And Says The $600 Is A ‘Disgrace’
After months of political wrangling and the final passage of Covid-19 relief package, President Trump said in a video on Tuesday, “The bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated.” He called it a “disgrace” and refused to sign the piece of legislation. Trump demanded that Congress substantially increase stimulus payments to $2,000 from a paltry “ridiculously low” $600.
Conflating the $900 billion package with the $2.3 trillion federal fiscal 2021 budget, Trump admonished both Democratic and Republican politicians by saying, “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it, and it wasn’t their fault.” Trump then added, “It was China’s fault, not their fault.”
Trump further wants to make Congress do away with “wasteful and unnecessary items,” referring to multi billions sent to foreign countries and allocated towards pet “pork barrel” projects. “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package. And maybe that administration will be me.” If Trump vetoes the piece of legislation and Congress can’t agree to new terms, the result may cause a temporary partial shutdown of the government.
Trump’s decision to pushback on the bill could’ve been due, in large part, to the public’s outrage. The American people were sorely disappointed at the initial announcement of the relief package. For the last ten months they’ve watched billionaires reap unimaginable wealth during the pandemic while U.S. citizens will only receive a meager $600 and many who exceed the salary thresholds will receive less money or nothing at all. Citizen journalists took to Twitter to vent their frustration.
Here are some of the examples of the largess cited by :
- $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia.
- $134 million to Burma
- $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, “which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment.”
- $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan
- $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama
- $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., “which is not even open for business.”
- $1 billion for the Smithsonian, “which is not even open,” and an additional $154 million for the National Gallery of Art
- $7 million for Reef Fish Management
- $25 million to combat Asian carp
- $2.5 million to count the number of amberjack fish in the Gulf of Mexico. “A provision to promote the breeding of fish in federal hatchers”
- $566 million for construction projects at the FBI
The options left on the table include Congress agreeing to the requested changes, Trump ultimately signing-off on the original bill or nothing happening and President-elect Joe Biden will have to work with Congress after he’s sworn into office to come to a resolution.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a main nemesis of Trump, quickly agreed to his request for $2,000 payments. She tweeted:
Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders both approved of the president’s proposal.
You have to wonder, for a person who prides himself on “The Art of The Deal,” if Trump pushed for a $2,000 or greater amount of money months before the election, he may have won re-election.
Originally published at https://www.forbes.com.