President Donald Trump is still pressing Congress increase the aid to US citizens in a spending bill crafted to avoid a government shutdown next week.
Trump has assailed the bill’s plan to provide $600 relief checks to most Americans who were affected by the coronavirus disease 2019, insisting it should be $2,000. House Republicans swiftly rejected that idea during a rare Christmas Eve session. But Trump has not been swayed.
“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” Trump tweeted Saturday from Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending the holiday. “Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork.’”
He also criticized the aid to be given to some countries, like the $1.3 billion for Egypt that, however, buys most of its weapons from Russia.
“This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia, $134 million to Burma, $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25 million for democracy and gender programmes in Pakistan, $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama,” Trump said.
Washington has been reeling since Trump threw the package into limbo after it had already won sweeping approval in both houses of Congress and after the White House assured Republican leaders that Trump would support it.
The relief is also attached to a $1.4-trillion government funding bill to keep the federal government operating.Trump was supposed to sign the bill earlier but decided not to as he found the $600 checks to be given to American citizens to be small. Both chambers of the US Congress rushed to finish the spending bill before the recent holidays. SOVEREIGNPH