President Trump gave an address Tuesday evening from the White House on the COVID relief bill in which he called on Congress to redo the $900 billion, 5593 pages long bill passed Monday night after months of negotiations by providing payments to Americans of $2000 per adult or $4000 per couple. The bill passed by the House and Senate contains payments of only $600 per adult American but giving up to $1800 for the families of illegal aliens married to American citizens. The address was posted to Twitter.
Trump read off a list of millions and billions of dollars in the bill designated for foreign nations and special interests, comparing that to the $600 for Americans. Trump also called on more relief for small businesses, especially restaurants.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
Trump closed the speech saying, “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault, it was China’s fault, not their fault. I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000 or $4000 for a couple. I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation. And to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package. And maybe that administration will be me, and we will get it done. Thank you very much.”
The bill passed the Senate Monday night, 92-6. Six Republican senators voted against the bill, Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rand Paul (KY), Rick Scott (FL), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT) and Ted Cruz (TX).
The Hill’s Joe Concha wrote an op-ed Tuesday that goes straight to the heart of the matter (excerpt):
The $900 billion stimulus package COVID-19 “relief” bill is exactly what one would expect from a dysfunctional, tone-deaf Congress: a pork-filled cluster filled with anything and everything that has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic or relief.
And in the swampiest thing ever, the bill, which is combined with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, is 5,593 pages long, or 5,583 pages too many, was given to lawmakers six hours before a vote to review what exactly is in it (hint: more pork than a Tyson Foods plant).
It harkens back to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) once explaining that a bill needed to be passed in order to find out what was in it. In a related story, our government is broken.
The topline from the bill says a mere $600 per adult and $600 per child goes to those eligible, which is half of what adults received in another relief package passed earlier this year (the per-child payment was $500). Not hard to see that this amount is hardly enough to keep those struggling from staying out of poverty.