Donald Trump signed into law the COVID Relief and Spending Act, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and avoiding a partial federal government shutdown.
Congress last week approved the $ 2.3 trillion (£ 1.7 trillion) pandemic aid and spending package and it was understood the White House was happy with its contents.
But then Mr. Trump He threatened to stop him, Saying he wanted to increase one-time payments to hardship Americans from $ 600 (£ 442) to $ 2,000 (£ 1,475).
The largest sum was rejected by his Republican colleagues.
Trump, who left office on Jan.20, backed down late Sunday under intense pressure from both sides of the political spectrum.
In a statement about the signing of the bill, Trump complained about what he considered “wasteful spending.”
He said, “I will sign the Omnibus and COVID package with a strong letter explaining to Congress that the wasted items must be removed.”
These notes would be merely proposals to Congress, however, as the bill would not necessarily be changed as it was signed.
Trump also said that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives planned to vote on Monday on a one-time increase in the payments and that the Senate would “begin the process” of approving them.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, said the president needed to encourage Republicans to “end their handicaps” and support an increase in payments to $ 2,000.
Good news in the Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!
– Donald J Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2020
COVID-19 has killed more than 333,000 people in the United States, infected nearly 20 million, and left millions without jobs.
The signing of the law will mean that unemployment benefits paid to nearly 14 million people through epidemic control programs will resume after they expired on Saturday.
The bill includes $ 1.4 trillion (£ 1.03 trillion) in funding for government agencies through September, as well as other priorities such as funds for troubled transportation systems and increased food stamp benefits.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said: “The Settlement Bill is not perfect, but it will do an enormous amount of good for the Kentucky (his state) and Americans across the country who need help now.”