Tuesday, October 19

Trump now opposes the Covid-19 aid package if checks are not increased


New York Correspondent

Updated:

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After months of negotiations between Democrats, Republicans and the White House to extend financial aid for Covid-19, Donald Trump has threatened to overturn the agreement reached ‘in extremis’ this Monday in Congress. The US president demanded in a video shared on social media Tuesday night that Congress “amend” that aid package and include much more substantial checks for Americans.

The agreed package includes a check for $ 600 for each American with income less than $ 75,000, including minors. That is, a family of four would receive $ 2,400. Trump went for a much higher amount: $ 2,000. “$ 4,000 if it is a couple,” he clarified, adding that the agreement reached by the legislators “is a disgrace” and that the $ 600 agreed is “ridiculously low.”

Your position leaves your Secretary of the Treasury in a bad place, Steve Mnuchin, who was a constant presence in the negotiations and applauded the agreement. “We are totally committed to ensuring that hard-working Americans receive this vital support as quickly as possible and to strengthen our economic recovery,” Mnuchin said in a statement on Tuesday, thanking Trump for his leadership in the process.

The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnellHe also congratulated himself after the agreement was reached for the aid package “that the country needs.”

Neither Republicans nor Democrats were satisfied with a minimum agreement, reluctantly reached by both parties. But its approval was urgent. Next week, many of the aid for covid approved last spring begin to expire. The economic situation is very difficult for millions of American citizens and companies, who still have a long winter ahead and a pandemic that remains uncontrolled and that has already caused more than 320,000 deaths in the country.

In addition to the checks, the agreement extends subsidies to the unemployed -300 dollars a week- and contains, among other items, 330,000 million dollars for aid to SMEs, within a total package of 900,000 million.

Although some legislators from both parties were very against the agreement – some considered that it was too short, others that it was too generous – it was possible to close it to prevent the aid from expiring. Also because the covid package was linked to a broader budget law, of 1.4 billion dollars, which, if not approved, would have involved a partial government shutdown.

Trump’s video leaves everything up in the air. The president protested that Congress “found a lot of money for foreign countries, ‘lobbies’ and interest groups while send the minimum to the American people». He repeated a litany of international aid or spending budget items that are unpopular with the conservative voter but correspond to budget law, not the covid package.

Trump did not expressly say that he would use his presidential power to veto the law. The majority reached in Congress is large enough to oppose the president’s veto. But if you decide to do so, it would be a long process that would delay the delivery of aid.

His decision left many of his advisers in the White House and the senior Treasury officials who have participated in the negotiations dislodged. No one expected events to take this course, faced with the urgency to reach an agreement.

For Democrats, however, Trump’s demands to increase the amount in crashes are good news, at least for the gallery. They have negotiated for months to do so, in the face of opposition from the Republicans. “We Democrats are ready to take this to the vote this week by unanimous consent,” said the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. “Let’s go!”

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