President Trump says no deal on COVID bill
It is a game of deal or no deal in Washington. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the appropriations and COVID relief bill this week, but now that President Trump has had time to look at some of its thousands of pages, he is calling the bill a disgrace.
According to the President, “Among the more than 5,000 pages in this bill, which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity, it’s called the COVID Relief Bill, but has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
In addition to eliminating foreign aid, President Trump wants Congress to cut out what he calls unnecessary spending, and some of the line items include agricultural interests: "$7 million dollars for reef fish management, $25 million dollars to combat Asian carp, $2.5 million dollars to count the number amberjack fish in the Gulf of Mexico, a provision to promote fish breeding in federal hatcheries, $3 million dollars in poultry production technology, $2 million dollars to research the impact of down trees.”
The President says that despite all of this wasteful spending, the bill only provides Americans with $600 dollars each. He wants a lot more and has told Congress to go back to the drawing board.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 dollars to $2,000 dollars or $4,000 dollars for a couple,” President Trump states. “I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicates she is ready to make the changes. She responded to the President on Twitter saying, “Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 dollars. Democrats are ready to bring this to the floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!”
So the big questions, what happens next?
There are several options, first we have to see what Congress decides to do, and reaction has been mixed. One thing to keep in mind, the COVID relief is attached to the Spending Bill, and the current budget runs out in five days, December 28th.
If Congress has not reached a new deal by then, the federal government will shut down.