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Relief bill drama continues as Trump backtracks

President Trump announced Tuesday evening that he will in fact sign off on specific COVID relief legislation (https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/president-trump-announces-backing-coronavirus-relief-measures). This comes just hours after the President said that he would suspend any negotiations with Congress until after the Nov. 3rd election. Trump tweeted, "The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!" He then followed up with a plan for a second set of stimulus relief checks, tweeting, "If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?"


While the initial CARES Act passed with bipartisan support back in late March, any attempts at additional legislation has repeatedly stalled. Smaller bills have been passed to help out small businesses and extend unemployment benefits, but so far Americans have only received one check. Since the pandemic began back in March, over 200,000 have died from complications related to COVID and millions have lost their jobs. Many on the left are calling for increased shut downs to curb the virus, with additional government funding to offset the losses. On the other hand many on the right are pushing for reopening so Americans can return to work. While the bailouts have been nominally helpful, some are concerned about the long term economic impact of exponentially increased government spending.


Many were critical of the President’s initial delay, calling it a cheap political tactic to help motivate Americans to vote for him. Even those within his own party were frustrated with his actions, calling them a “huge mistake”. If the President and Congress can come to an agreement before the election then Trump may see improvement at the polls at a crucial time. Tonight is the vice presidential debate and COVID relief will be a major issue discussed. Will Vice President Pence help gain ground for Trump by showing the White House’s willingness to pass legislations ASAP, or will Senator Harris pad Biden’s lead by critiquing the delays and setbacks that have seriously impacted the American people?


Image Credit: Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House

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