Donald Trump is playing games with the lives of the people in this nation. He is like a child who will destroy anything in sight if he does not get his way, but instead of the stakes being some toys or even a few broken dishes, the stakes are human lives. We the People are being treated as pawns on a chessboard to be toyed with on a whim.
Finally, after months of back-and-forth, Congress managed to come together to produce a spending bill to fund the government until October 2021. That bill also contains a nearly $892 billion stimulus bill to help the people of this nation survive the economic consequences of the pandemic that is and has been far more devastating than it would have been, had Trump acted with conscience at the beginning of the year. Or at any time during the year. The bill also extends the moratorium on evictions, extends supplemental unemployment, and much more to help people and small businesses survive. It passed both chambers of Congress with a veto-proof majority. Trump has neither signed nor vetoed it.
President-elect Joe Biden issued a statement yesterday …
Statement by President-elect Joe Biden on the Need to Sign the COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill
It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority.
This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences. Today, about 10 million Americans will lose unemployment insurance benefits. In just a few days, government funding will expire, putting vital services and paychecks for military personnel at risk. In less than a week, a moratorium on evictions expires, putting millions at risk of being forced from their homes over the holidays. Delay means more small businesses won’t survive this dark winter because they lack access to the lifeline they need, and Americans face further delays in getting the direct payments they deserve as quickly as possible to help deal with the economic devastation caused by COVID-19. And while there is hope with the vaccines, we need funding to be able to distribute and administer them to millions of Americans, including frontline health care workers.
This bill is critical. It needs to be signed into law now. But it is also a first step and down payment on more action that we’ll need to take early in the new year to revive the economy and contain the pandemic — including meeting the dire need for funding to distribute and administer the vaccine and to increase our testing capacity.
In November, the American people spoke clearly that now is a time for bipartisan action and compromise. I was heartened to see members of Congress heed that message, reach across the aisle, and work together. President Trump should join them, and make sure millions of Americans can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads in this holiday season.
Trump claims to want far larger coronavirus relief checks for individuals and major reductions to the foreign aid budget and other spending he has deemed wasteful, even though he was fully aware all along what the provisions of this bill would be. His own Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, was the very one who demanded the payments to individuals would be only $600, despite Democrats arguing for $1,200.
If Trump vetoes the bill, Congress will need a 2/3 majority in both House and Senate to override the veto. Based on the votes for the bill, that wouldn’t be a problem, but … at least a few Republicans, such as Lindsey Graham, who voted for the bill have now said they would not vote to override Trump’s veto! Cowards!!! Spineless jellyfish! (My apologies to any jellyfish who might be reading this … that was an unintended insult to jellyfish) It is well past the time that the damned Republicans in Congress act like representatives of the people of this nation instead of Trump’s puppets! It is past time Republicans put human life ahead of their own financial interests, most of them being far wealthier than any of us to begin with.
If Trump does nothing, as I am told he has been advised by the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, the clock will run out on January 4th, one day after the current 116th Congress expires. Bills die if they are not enacted during the Congress in which they are introduced.
If either of these two scenarios transpire, the bill will be dead, and it would be left to the next Congress and President Biden to try to pull together an entirely new bill. Meanwhile, people who lost their jobs during the pandemic will suffer as unemployment insurance for more than 14 million expired yesterday and the protection against being evicted will expire on December 31st.
Additionally, the U.S. government runs out of money at midnight Dec. 28. If this battle is not resolved by then, Congress must either pass its fourth stopgap funding bill since last September or federal agencies will not have money to fully operate beginning December 29th. In that case, tens of thousands of government workers could be furloughed, and programs interrupted. If Congress does pass a temporary bill, Trump would have to approve it, or the shutdown begins.
What Trump is doing is pure, unadulterated evil. He has no right to the position of power that he is in, has no right, in fact, to call himself a human being. I call on the Republicans in Congress to look around to see if they can find both their conscience and a pair of cojones and STOP THIS MADNESS!