WASHINGTON – Millions of Americans saw their unemployment benefits come to an end on Saturday after US President Donald Trump refused to officially sign a $ 2.3 trillion disease and spending budget, complaining that it wasn’t doing enough to help people on a daily basis.
Trump surprised Republicans and Democrats alike when he said this week he was unhappy with the huge bill, which provides $ 892 billion in much-needed coronavirus assistance, including extending special unemployment benefits ending December 26, and $ 1.4 trillion in general government spending.
Without Trump’s signature, approximately 14 million people could lose those additional benefits, according to Department of Labor data. The partial closure of the government will begin on Tuesday unless Congress approves a government bill to suspend the posts before then.
After months of controversy, Republicans and Democrats agreed on the package last weekend, with funding from the White House. Trump, who handed over power to Democratic Alliance President Joe Biden on January 20, did not oppose the deal before Congress voted Monday night.
But since then he has complained that the bill gives too much money to special interests, cultural projects and foreign aid, and its single incentive of $ 600 million to struggling Americans is too small. He demanded an increase of $ 2,000.
“Why don’t politicians want to give people $ 2,000, instead of giving only $ 600? … Give our people money!” the billionaire president wrote on Twitter on Christmas Day, many of whom spent golf at his Mar-a-Lago tour of Palm Beach, Florida.
Many economists agree that the benefits of the bill are very low but say immediate support is acceptable and necessary.
A source familiar with the situation says Trump’s opposition to the bill has surprised many White House officials. While the president’s plan to pass the bill remains unclear, he has not voted in and will sign it in the coming days.
On Saturday he was expected to stay in Mar-a-Lago, where a loan was sent and he is still awaiting his decision. Biden, who won the Nov. 3 election Trump refused to accept, is using the holiday in his home country of Delaware and has not had any public events scheduled for Saturday.