(CNN) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he requested changes to the coronavirus relief bill approved by Congress, leaving the future of the $ 900 billion stimulus in doubt.
“I ask Congress to amend this bill and raise the ridiculously low $ 600 to $ 2,000 or $ 4,000 per couple,” Trump said in a video posted on Twitter. “I also ask Congress to immediately get rid of unnecessary and wasteful elements of this legislation or to send me a suitable bill.”
The extraordinary message came after he left negotiations over the measure largely in the hands of lawmakers and his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Trump did not explicitly threaten to veto the bill, but said he was dissatisfied with its final status.
The president’s position could threaten to torpedo the carefully drafted bill, which his own government helped negotiate, a move that could lead to a government shutdown and send the economy into a tailspin if carried out with a veto.
Still, Trump’s message appeared to be received favorably by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who tweeted: “Republicans repeatedly refused to say how much the president wanted for direct controls.”
Finally, the president accepted US $ 2,000. Democrats are ready to discuss it this week by unanimous consent, “he said. “Let’s do it!”
Trump’s statement was recorded by the White House and was not open to the press. The journalists did not have the opportunity to ask the president questions. It is unclear when the message was recorded.
The president has said in the past that he would sign the bill, and the White House publicly defended the bill early Tuesday. But many of his allies have spoken out against the approved agreement.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
After months of grueling negotiations, Congress voted Monday night to approve the far-reaching covid aid package from US$ 900.000 millones intended to provide levels of financial support to Americans affected by the pandemic.
The legislation includes direct payments of up to $ 600 per adult, enhanced unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week, approximately $ 284 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans, $ 25 billion in rental assistance, an extension of the eviction moratorium and US $ 82 billion for schools and universities.
“We can finally report what our nation has long needed to hear: More help is on the way,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday night when announcing the deal.
The agreement was reached only after both parties gave up on some of their key demands.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.
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