Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Trump leaves Washington in limbo with relief threat


By Naomi Jagoda and Morgan Chalfant - 12/23/20 05:12 PM EST

President Trump has left Washington in limbo after signaling opposition to the massive coronavirus relief and government funding package passed with bipartisan support this week, threatening a government shutdown in his final days in office.

Trump, who left Washington for his Mar-a-Lago resort on Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, did not definitively say he would veto the $2.3 trillion package, but his opposition left members of both parties shaking their heads and wondering if he’d come around to sign the legislation before funding is set to run out on Dec. 29.

Congress would have limited options and time should Trump veto the package.

The most plausible move may be for Congress to pass a weeks-long continuing resolution to fund the government through the beginning of January.


Failure to promptly enact a relief package could further hamper an economy already showing new signs of slowing as coronavirus cases explode across the country, forcing some states and localities to implement new restrictions on businesses to curb COVID-19’s spread.

Two unemployment assistance programs funded by the CARES Act are set to expire the day after Christmas, and the federal moratorium on evictions will expire at the end of the year. As of mid-December, more than 14 million weekly claims were being made in the two programs alone.

A shutdown would put millions of federal employees on furlough in the midst of the economic downturn while closing nonessential services. Trump has already presided over the longest shutdown in U.S. history, a 35-day affair from December 2018 through January 2019 over funding for his border wall.


One former White House official attributed Trump’s last-minute objection to the bill as a bid to stay relevant in the waning weeks of his term.


No comments:

Post a Comment