Sunday, in a reversal of some of his rhetoric, President Trump signed a $2.3 trillion package that combines Covid-19 relief with government funding.
The move averts a shutdown that would have begun Tuesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement saying “the signing of the bipartisan, bicameral coronavirus relief legislation is welcome news for the fourteen million Americans who just lost the lifeline of unemployment benefits on Christmas Weekend, and for the millions more struggling to stay afloat during this historic pandemic and economic crisis.”
“This relief legislation is a down payment on what is needed to crush the virus, put money in the pockets of the American people and honor our heroes – our health care workers, first responders, transit and sanitation workers and teachers,” she continued “We need to ensure robust support for state and local government to distribute and administer a vaccine, keep workers employed and prevent devastating service cuts – and we must do so as soon as possible.
“Now, the President must immediately call on Congressional Republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000, which will be brought to the Floor tomorrow. Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” Pelosi added.
In explaining the reversal, Trump said “I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more.”
He added “I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.”