US President Donald Trump on Sunday signed into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, officials said that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals. It also averts a government shutdown.
US President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion coronavirus pandemic relief package restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a partial federal government shutdown.
Trump announced the signing in a statement Sunday night.
Trump, who leaves office on January 20 after losing November’s election, backed down from his threat to block the bill, which was approved by Congress last week, after he came under intense pressure from lawmakers on both sides.
The massive bill includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains other end-of-session priorities such as money for cash-starved transit systems and an increase in food stamp benefits.
Democrats are promising more aid to come once President-elect Joe Biden takes office, but Republicans are signalling a wait-and-see approach.
White House officials have been tight-lipped about Trump’s thinking but a source familiar with the situation said some advisers had urged him to relent because they did not see the point of refusing.
“Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!” Trump said in a cryptic message on Twitter earlier on Sunday evening. But he offered no explanation.
In the face of growing economic hardship and spreading disease, lawmakers urged Trump on Sunday to sign the legislation immediately, then have Congress follow up with additional aid. Aside from unemployment benefits and relief payments to families, money for vaccine distribution, businesses, cash-starved public transit systems and more is on the line. Protections against evictions also hang in the balance.
(With inputs from agency)
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Last Updated Dec 28, 2020, 10:30 AM IST