Sydney Times

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Jobless Benefits Run Out as Trump Resists Signing Relief Bill

Written by Aksel Ritenis

*Jobless Benefits Run Out as Trump Resists Signing Relief Bill

*Read this on the New York Times

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans lost their unemployment coverage on Saturday as President Trump resisted signing a sweeping $900 billion aid package until lawmakers more than tripled the size of relief checks, putting the fate of the measure in limbo.

Mr. Trump’s resistance to signing the bill risks leaving millions of unemployed Americans without crucial benefits, jeopardizes other critical assistance for businesses and families set to lapse at the end of the year and raises the possibility of a government shutdown on Tuesday.

The president blindsided lawmakers this week when he described as “a disgrace” a relief compromise that overwhelmingly passed both chambers and was negotiated by his own Treasury secretary. He hinted that he might veto the measure unless lawmakers raised the bill’s $600 direct payment checks to $2,000, and Mr. Trump, who was largely absent from negotiations over the compromise, doubled down on that criticism on Saturday while offering little clarity on his plans. A White House spokesman declined to indicate what the president intended to do.

“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter Saturday, a day he continued to dedicate many of his posts to falsehoods about the election. “Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork.’”

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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