By now it’s no secret that Congress passed a $2.3 trillion combination COVID stimulus and omnibus spending bill, which The Daily Citizen detailed earlier this week. The bill provided for individuals to receive a $600 check, while allocating billions of taxpayer dollars for questionable overseas projects.
President Donald Trump wasted no time in condemning the bill, calling it a “disgrace.” In a video aired on Twitter, the president called on Congress to increase individual payments to $2,000 and eliminate the wasteful spending.
“Among the 5,000 pages in this bill, which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity. It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID,” the president said.
“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said.
“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,” Trump said, implying that he might veto the legislation.
Reaction from some members of Congress was swift.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted her support for the stimulus payment increase. “Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!” she said.
The Speaker didn’t respond to the president’s request to eliminate the pork spending on overseas projects such as “gender programs” in Pakistan, among others. She also didn’t explain why House Democrats opposed the current stimulus package until after Joe Biden was elected.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., blasted Trump’s statement. “This is an attack on every American – people who are struggling to get by right now, out of work. … Unemployment is basically going to end the day after Christmas if this doesn’t pass,” Klobuchar said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
The bill passed the House and Senate by super-majorities that would ultimately ensure its enactment even if Trump were to veto it, forcing an override vote. The president’s choices – if Congress decides not to amend it – include three options: he could veto it, sign it into law, or simply refuse to do anything and allow the bill to become law after 10 days without his signature.
There is, however, a fourth option. According to the Constitution, if the 10 day period expires (Sundays excepted) without the president’s signature or veto while Congress is adjourned, the bill does not become law. This is known as a “pocket veto.”
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