- President Donald Trump left Washington on Wednesday to vacation at his private resort in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
- House Democrats, meanwhile, will try to pass a measure on Thursday by providing $ 2,000 stimulus checks as part of the COVID-19 relief package.
- Earlier this week, Trump asked Congress to increase the size of the $ 600 stimulus payments included in the package he was supposed to sign.
- If Trump does not sign the stimulus package within the next five days, he will have effectively vetoed it, returning the measure to Congress.
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President Donald Trump left DC on Wednesday to vacation at his private resort in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, the day before Congress considered $ 2,000 stimulus checks as part of the COVID-19 aid package. .
On Tuesday night, Trump left Washington in a frenzy by criticizing the bipartisan stimulus measure that Congress had just passed. On Wednesday afternoon, President Duckling vetoed the defense spending bill that passed both chambers with overwhelming support.
It is unclear when Trump will return to Washington. As USA Today noted, an alert from the Federal Aviation Administration indicates that he is due to leave Palm Beach at 6:45 pm on January 1. If he stays that long, the $ 900 billion stimulus package already approved can be automatically vetoed as a result of him not signing.
A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on whether the president intends to veto the current stimulus package.
The White House press office insisted, however, that the president will stay busy, saying in a statement that its schedule “includes many meetings and calls”.
In the meantime, Democrats are prepared to bring Trump’s stated desire for bigger stimulus checks to the House floor on Thursday. According to Jeff Stein of The Washington Post, Democrats will seek to approve payments of $ 2,000 – over $ 600 of the existing stimulus package – by unanimous consent, meaning that it would pass without objection from any member of Congress.
If that effort fails, Democrats will vote on autonomous legislation on Monday, December 28, the Post reported.
The effort comes after Trump, in particular, said the package, which he was supposed to sign, did not provide stimulus checks large enough.
Democrats were the first to propose direct payments of $ 2,000. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris co-sponsored legislation in the Senate that would provide checks each month until the end of the pandemic. In the House, center Democrats and liberals supported a parallel measure, but the stimulus packed in that House approved in May included only one-time checks for $ 1,200.
Republicans, led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, sought to limit the size of direct payments to Americans and now have to decide whether they want to oppose Trump or give up and save the face politically.
Most Americans say the $ 600 checks were not enough. According to a recent survey by Insider and SurveyMonkey, 76% of respondents said the payment should be $ 1,000 or more, and 43% said it should be $ 2,000 or more.
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