US President Donald Trump is calling on the country’s Congress to amend a newly approved coronavirus aid package, raising the amount of money Americans will receive and cutting other measures he says are “a waste”.
In a video posted on Twitter Tuesday night, Trump called the long-awaited package a “disgrace”.
The legislation – which includes almost $ 900 billion in spending and has thousands of pages – was passed by both chambers of Congress on Monday night, after months of stalled negotiations.
Lawmakers adhered to a $ 1.4 trillion and thousands of pages page bill for other end-of-session deals in a huge package of bipartisan legislation as the Capitol prepares to close the books of the year.
The Republican Senate voted 91 to 7 in favor of approving the package, shortly after the Democratic majority chamber passed the legislation with a vote of 359 to 53.
The legislation now requires Trump’s signature to become law. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin promised that the $ 600 one-time payments to Americans included in the account would begin to flow into bank accounts next week.
Coronavirus: US Congress Agrees on $ 900 Billion COVID-19 Relief Package
However, Trump said that Congress found “enough money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests”, while sending “the bare minimum necessary to the American people who needed it.”
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He He complained about money from legislation abroad, the Smithsonian Institution and fish farming, among other expenses.
“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and raise the ridiculously low amount from $ 600 to $ 2,000, or $ 4,000 for a couple,” he said.
Trump said he is also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the “wasteful and unnecessary items of this legislation and send me an appropriate bill, or else the next government will have to deliver a COVID aid package.
“Maybe this government is me, and we will do that,” he added, alluding to his efforts to overturn the results of the November presidential election that he lost.
President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to take office on January 20, 2021.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi retaliated against Trump, saying that her party members “repeatedly refused to say how much the President wanted for direct checks.”
“Finally, the president agreed to $ 2,000 – Democrats are ready to take this to the floor this week by unanimous consent,” she wrote in a tweet on Tuesday night. “Lets do this!”
Senate Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer said the party spent months trying to secure checks for $ 2,000 to Americans, “but the Republicans blocked it.”
“Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we are happy to approve more aid that Americans need,” he wrote on Twitter.
–With a file from The Associated Press and Reuters
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