After throwing a grenade that threatens to blow up a huge humanitarian aid and government funding project for Covid and forcing the government to close in the middle of a pandemic, Donald Trump was playing golf at Christmas for the second consecutive day.
Failure to agree to the bill could deny checks to millions of Americans on the brink.
Trump had no events on his public calendar on the first day of his winter vacation on Thursday, but he traveled to his golf club in Palm Beach, where he was spotted by CNN cameras on the links.
Reporters did not receive details of his schedule for the day, but said that, “As the holiday season approaches, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American people. Its schedule includes many meetings and calls. “
Trump’s departure came when Washington was still recovering from its surprise, the 11-hour requirement that a year-end spending bill that Congress leaders spent months negotiating would provide most Americans with relief checks from Covid $ 2,000 – far more than members of their own $ 600 party had agreed to. The idea was quickly rejected by House Republicans during a rare Christmas Eve session, leaving the proposal in limbo.
The bipartisan deal was considered a closed deal and gained broad approval in the House and Senate this week after the White House assured Republican leaders that Trump supported him. If Trump refuses to sign the deal, which is attached to a $ 1.4 trillion government financing account, it will force a federal government shutdown, delay aid checks and suspend unemployment benefits and protections. eviction amid the most terrible stretch of the pandemic.
It was an apparent act of antagonism towards Republican congressmen of a president who was enraged by his November 3 defeat to President-elect Joe Biden and tried to propose new and increasingly outrageous schemes to try to overturn the results of a Democratic election. He was instigated by allies like his lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who accompanied the president to Florida on board Air Force One.
Trump’s wrath has focused, in part, on Republicans in Congress, who he believes have not sufficiently supported his quest to delegitimize Biden’s victory by making baseless claims of mass electoral fraud before Congress meets to count the votes. of the electoral college on January 6.
Meanwhile, the nation continues to stagger as the coronavirus spreads, with record infections and hospitalizations and more than 327,000 dead. And millions are facing the prospect of spending their holidays alone or struggling to survive without adequate income, food or shelter, thanks to the pandemic’s economic toll.
Meanwhile, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been trying to save the year-end legislation to try to avoid a closure. Democrats will call House legislators back to Washington for a vote on Monday over Trump’s $ 2,000 proposal, although he would likely die in the Republican-controlled Senate. They are also considering a vote on Monday on an interim measure to at least avoid a federal strike and keep the government running until Biden opens on January 20.
In addition to relief checks, the approved Covid bill would establish a temporary supplementary unemployment benefit of $ 300 a week, provide a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants and theaters and money for schools and provide money for care health providers and to assist in the distribution of Covid’s vaccine.