Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new $900 billion stimulus plan for the U.S. economy this Sunday, after several days of refusing to do so and millions of people losing their unemployment benefits.
Trump signed the $2.3 trillion bill Sunday afternoon at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, where he is on vacation, the White House confirmed.
That package, known as an omnibus, includes the second stimulus plan approved this year in the U.S. and $1.4 trillion to fund the Administration through September 2021.
After five days of refusing to sign the bill and demanding changes, Trump backed down to prevent funding for the Administration from running out on Monday night and hundreds of thousands of employees would see his salary suspended.
“I sign this omnibus and COVID-19 package with a resounding message that makes it clear to Congress that the points of the law that are a waste have to be withdrawn” from the text, Trump noted in a statement.
The representative assured that, although he is signing the bill, he still expects Congress to approve a change in the item that envisages sending a one-time payment of $600 to millions of taxpayers to make up for the pandemic’s havoc.
After his own government negotiated $600, Trump demanded to raise that amount to $2,000, and in his statement he recalled that the lower house planned to vote on Monday to make that change, something Republican leaders oppose.
Donald Trump said the Republican-controlled Senate “will begin the process of voting on the increase in checks to $2,000.”
But in a later statement, Senate Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell merely thanked Trump for signing the bill, and did not mention any possible votes from senators to make any changes.
Trump also assured that he will return the Administration’s funding plan to Congress with parties underlined for changes, but it is unclear that lawmakers will change anything.
Trump’s change of heart came five days after he threatened Tuesday to block the law if several points were not changed, from increased direct payments to Americans to a reduction in foreign aid.
His refusal to sign the law caused two programs that provided unemployment aid to between 10 and 14 million Americans to expire on Sunday, and will now be renewed as the law came into force.
Trump’s blockade of the bill earned criticism from several members of his party, and having lasted until January 1 would have brought the end of a national veto to evictions, affecting some 30 million Americans.
Trump’s bailout includes an unemployment benefit of $300 a week, $325 billion in business support ($275 billion for payroll), $45 billion for public transportation systems, $82 billion for schools, and billions in food stamps, rentering aids, and vaccine distribution.