While Congress thought their heavy lifting had been done on the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package after working over the weekend, President Trump brought them back to reality by calling it a “disgrace” on Tuesday night. What primarily drew the ire of the president was the $600 in direct payments set to go to Americans. “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in a video he posted to Twitter. “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it,” Trump said.
The almost 6,000 page bill had a lot of pork hidden in fine print, and the President pointed out the fact that foreign countries and lobbyists were very well taken care of, but American citizens and business owners, specifically restaurant owners were not.“They (restaurants) were only given a deduction for others to use in business, their restaurant, for two years,” Trump added. “This two year period must be withdrawn, which will allow the owners to obtain financing and get their restaurants back in condition. Congress can terminate it at a much later date, but two years is not acceptable it’s not enough.”
In an almost surreal reaction to Trump’s tweets, he was greeted with support for his idea; from Democrats.
Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it! https://t.co/Th4sztrpLV
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 23, 2020
That's great! I first introduced a bill to provide a $2,000 direct payment with @SenKamalaHarris & @EdMarkey 7 months ago. Now, Mr. President, get Mitch McConnell and your Republican friends to stop opposing it and we can provide working class Americans with $2,000. Let's do it. https://t.co/fKvqBsqM0k
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 23, 2020