The president “has signed H.R. 133, an Act making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021, providing coronavirus emergency response and relief, and for other purposes,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere stated Sunday evening.
The entire $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, which funds the government through September 2021, passed both chambers of Congress on Monday night with overwhelming support.
The $900 billion coronavirus relief portion of the bill includes $600 stimulus checks, extends two federal unemployment programs, provides an additional $300 in weekly jobless benefits, and adds another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses.
Also included is funding for vaccine distribution and schools, $25 billion in rental assistance, an extension of the eviction moratorium, $13 billion in food assistance, and $7 billion to increase access to broadband.
The legislation did not include aid for state and local governments or liability protections for businesses — both key sticking points in earlier negotiations. Democrats called the liability protection a “poison pill,” while the GOP characterized the state and local aid as a “blue state bailout.”
On Tuesday, President Trump described parts of the bill as “wasteful spending” and asked Congress “to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” among other changes. Under the bill, direct payments will be up to $600 per individual and $600 per child.
‘Increase direct payment checks to $2,000’
In Sunday’s signing statement, the president asserted that the Senate “will start the process for a vote that increases checks to $2,000, repeals Section 230, and starts an investigation into voter fraud.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) immediately applauded the president’s signing of the legislation but did not mention any of the follow-up demands.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) welcomed the president signing the bill and confirmed that the House would still vote on separate legislation that would provide additional $2,000 stimulus checks.
“Now, the President must immediately call on Congressional Republicans to end their obstruction and to join him and Democrats in support of our stand-alone legislation to increase direct payment checks to $2,000, which will be brought to the Floor tomorrow,” Pelosi said in a statement on Sunday. “Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need.”
The deal came after Congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has represented the White House in talks, held a series of meetings last week to discuss how the stimulus deal could be included in the spending bill that was required to avert a partial government shutdown.
Democrats came to the table with their $3.4 trillion HEROES Act, while the GOP came up with a $1 trillion HEALS Act during the summer. Many of the provisions in these two proposals have been trimmed or left out. The White House’s stimulus proposal reached around $1.9 trillion before the election.