TRUMP SIGNS RELIEF BILL

President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals.

The fate of an end-of-year COVID-19 relief and spending bill remained in doubt Sunday as millions lost unemployment aid, the government barreled toward a mid-pandemic shutdown and lawmakers implored President Donald Trump to act.

Trump blindsided members of both parties and upended months of negotiations when he demanded last week that the package — already passed the House and Senate by large margins and believed to have Trump’s support — be revised to include larger relief checks and scaled-back spending.

On Sunday evening, Trump offered the vaguest of updates, tweeting, “Good news on Covid Relief Bill.

In the face of growing economic hardship and spreading disease, lawmakers urged Trump on Sunday to sign the legislation immediately, then have Congress follow up with additional aid.

Trump, who spent much of Sunday at his West Palm Beach golf course, has given no indication that he plans to sign the bill as he spends the last days of his presidency in a rage.

Days ago, Democrats said they would call House lawmakers back to Washington for a vote Monday on Trump’s proposal to send out $2,000 relief checks, instead of the $600 approved by Congress.

Instead, he assailed the bill’s plan to provide $600 COVID-19 relief checks to most Americans — insisting it should be $2,000 — and took issue with spending included in an attached $1.4 trillion government funding bill to keep the federal government operating through September.

Lauren Bauer of the Brookings Institution had calculated that at least 11 million people would lose aid immediately as a result of Trump’s failure to sign the legislation; millions more would exhaust other unemployment benefits within weeks.

In some states, people on regular unemployment insurance will continue to receive payments under a program that extends benefits when the jobless rate surpassed a certain threshold, said Andrew Stettner, an unemployment insurance expert and senior fellow at the Century Foundation think tank.

Associated Press