Trump signs Covid-19 pandemic relief proposal to avert government shutdown

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday signed into law a $ 2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, officials said, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Trump, who is leaving office on January 20 after losing the November election, backed away from his threat to block the bill, which was approved by Congress last week, after coming under intense pressure from lawmakers on both sides.

The Republican president, who played golf on Sunday and remained out of sight even when the potential shutdown by the government threatened, had demanded that Congress change the bill to increase the size of stimulus controls for American fighters to $ 2,000 from $ 600.

It was not immediately clear why Trump changed because his opposition to the massive legislative package promised a chaotic final part of his presidency.

White House officials have been tight-lipped about Trump’s thinking, but a source familiar with the situation said some advisers had urged him to change because they did not see the point in refusing. “Good news for Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!” Trump said in a cryptic message on Twitter earlier on Sunday night. But he gave no explanation.

Democrats are on board with the $ 2000 payments, but many Republicans have opposed it in the past. Many economists agree that the financial support in the bill should be higher to get the economy moving again, but say that immediate support for Americans affected by coronavirus locks is still urgently needed.

Unemployment benefits paid to about 14 million people through pandemic programs ended on Saturday, but will be restarted now that Trump has signed the bill.

The package includes $ 1.4 trillion in government spending. If Trump had not signed the legislation, a partial shutdown by the government would have begun on Tuesday that would have put millions in government workers’ incomes at risk.

(REUTERS)