For a preview of what the next four years of policy disagreement might look like, President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden differ on the readiness and immediate need of the stimulus bill.
Trump has not signed the bipartisan stimulus bill, tweeting Saturday morning, “I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork.’”
“It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority,” Biden said in a statement.
In a tweet storm about election fraud and the Department of Justice, Trump also mentioned the stimulus bill just before pandemic-extended unemployment benefits expired at midnight. With the bill unsigned by the president, states are unable to make some unemployment benefits available for a week.
“This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences,” Biden’s statement read Saturday. “Today, about 10 million Americans will lose unemployment insurance benefits. In just a few days, government funding will expire, putting vital services and paychecks for military personnel at risk. In less than a week, a moratorium on evictions expires, putting millions at risk of being forced from their homes over the holidays.”
The Brookings Institution estimates 11 million Americans are affected, while the Century Foundation puts the estimate at 14 million. Payments could be made retroactively.
Trump called the $900 billion relief package a “disgrace” on Tuesday in a tweeted video. Each American received $1,200 in the previous stimulus bill, but Republicans had assurances from the White House administration that Trump would agree to this long-negotiated bill’s $600 payment.
“I don’t understand what’s being done, why, unless it’s just to create chaos and show power and be upset because you lost the election.”
No, that’s not Bernie Sanders on CNN. It’s Illinois Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger. Sanders called Trump “pathologically narcissistic.”