Despite the unmatched urgency of a relief bill for Americans struggling to stay afloat amidst the suffocating lockdowns, President Donald Trump slams the 1.4 trillion dollar spending bill, ordering larger checks to be delivered to the American people.
“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump announced. “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.”
Trump also lambasted the “wasteful spending” in the bill, blazing through the massive trove of foreign and domestic aid taking up the majority of the bill.
“This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia; $134 million to Burma; $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian Military which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian Military equipment; $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan; $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama; $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., which is not even open for business; $1 billion for the Smithsonian; and an additional $154 million for the National Gallery of Art; $7 million for reef fish management; $25 million to combat Asian carp; $2.5 million to count the number of Amber Jack fish in the Gulf of Mexico, a provision to promote the breeding of fish in federal hatcheries; $3 million in poultry production technology; $2 million to research the impact of downed trees; $566 million for construction projects at the FBI,” Trump continued
The bill also included stimulus checks for illegal immigrants, which, in fact, gave more to non-citizens than citizens, as Trump mentioned the bill is “allowing them to get up to $1,800 each. This is far more than the Americans are given.”
“Despite all of this wasteful spending and much more, the $900 billion package provides hard-working taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments and not enough money is given to small businesses and in particular restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously,” Trump said. “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.”
Although the bill includes a 300 dollar weekly unemployment supplement and 284 billion dollars in loans to small businesses, only sending 600 dollars to each Americans’ pocket remains a sticking point for Trump and other prominent Congressional figures. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders both pushed for 1,200 dollar stimulus checks.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) tweeted out her dismay with the bill, believing, “600 is a slap in the face to every American struggling due to the pandemic. You deserve better. I voted against the 5,593-page spending bill that gave billions to corporate interests, the military-industrial complex & other countries, leaving crumbs for you who need help most.”
However, Trump noticeably did not threaten a veto, rather decided to leave Congress with two options. Either they can deliver a bill with larger checks or he will leave it to the next administration. With his November loss to President-Elect Joe Biden and a sputtering legal effort to overturn the election, Trump hinted that “maybe that administration will be me, and we will get it done.”