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article imageTrump veto threat could lead to severe consequences for U.S.

By Karen Graham     Dec 23, 2020 in Politics
President Donald Trump's threat to veto Congress’ massive COVID-19 relief package during a raging pandemic could lead to severe consequences for the nation, including a year-end government shutdown,
On Tuesday evening, President Trump posted a video in which he signaled he would not sign the spending package and coronavirus relief deal Congress passed on Monday'
The $900 million COVID-19 relief package was tied tp a $1.4 trillion compromise bill to fund government agencies through September 2021 and contains other end-of-session priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems, an increase in food stamp benefits, and about $4 billion to help other nations provide a COVID-19 vaccine for their people.
In his video, Trump said the bill's COVID-19 provision was not what he had expected and called it a “disgrace” that had “almost nothing to do with COVID.”
Trump also did not like many provisions in the spending package, including funds for foreign aid. He told lawmakers to “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. And maybe that administration will be me. And we will get it done.”
In the meantime, After demanding $2,000 in stimulus relief, instead of the $600 per person in the relief package, something he should have been pushing for months ago, Trump's veto threat has left American lives in a surreal sort of limbo - two days before Christmas.
Current federal funding is due to expire on Monday if Trump, who is scheduled to leave for Florida on Wednesday, does not sign the bill into law. And when the government shutdown goes into effect, millions of federal employees will be furloughed, even as the government is rushing to distribute two coronavirus vaccines and contend with a massive cyberattack that officials say was perpetrated by Russia.
Covid-19 in US: nearly $900 billion stimulus package
Covid-19 in US: nearly $900 billion stimulus package
Gal ROMA, AFP
For several months, Trump has been quiet as Republican and Democratic lawmakers wrangled over provisions on the COVID relief package. Even Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin was involved in the talks that resulted in the measure backed by a 359-53 vote in the House and 92-6 in the Senate on Monday.
And that vote in the two chambers is the key to the whole sorry mess. The votes in both the Senate and the House could override Trump's objection with a two-thirds vote in each chamber.
According to the Associated Press, Trump is testing the loyalty of Republican lawmakers, a loyalty he has held over their heads since assuming office. A number of Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have already begun to break with Trump - acknowledging his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. McConnell has also warned Republicans against disputing the election on Jan. 6, when Congress must formally affirm the results.
More about Trump veto, government shutdown, pandemic relief funds, Congress, Stimulus checks
 
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