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Unemployment aid is set to expire on Saturday as Trump’s plans for relief bill remain uncertain

“Why wouldn’t politicians want to give people $ 2,000, rather than just $ 600?” he said on twitter, possibly referring to his own party’s decision on Thursday to block a Democratic House bill that would have increased the amount of direct payments to $ 2,000. “It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Donate money to our people!

Mr. Trump was largely not involved in the negotiations over the legislation, but his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was supposed to negotiate on behalf of the president.

The aid bill also includes billions of dollars to help states distribute coronavirus vaccines, a replenished small business loan program, and relief funds for airlines. It was passed with a spending measure to maintain government funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, the cost of the combined package is $ 2.3 trillion.

Treasury Department officials, expecting the president to sign the bill this week, had planned to work over the Christmas break to revive the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program and move payments to direct deposit early next week. However, all of this now remains in limbo.

Congressional lawmakers and White House officials have indicated they are still unsure whether Mr. Trump will cede and sign the legislation, issue a formal veto, or simply leave it unsigned. While Congress could potentially overturn Mr. Trump’s veto, sitting on the bill – a so-called pocket veto – would require the next Congress to reintroduce and pass the legislation early next year.

California Democrat President Nancy Pelosi said she would hold a recorded vote on Monday on direct payments legislation that would satisfy Mr. Trump’s call for $ 2,000 direct payments and put pressure on Republicans , who oppose such high payments. Congress could also be forced to pass another interim spending measure to avoid a shutdown.

Official figures released this week revealed the lingering stress the economy is facing with falling personal income and unemployment claims remaining high. An additional 398,000 people have requested assistance in the event of an unemployment pandemic, one of two federal programs to expand unemployment benefits that will expire.

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