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Trump rails against COVID-19 relief package, wants more money in checks and less ‘unnecessary’ items

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President Donald Trump criticized Congress on Tuesday for its bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill one night after both chambers passed the package that took months of negotiations to reach, throwing the future of the $900 billion bill into uncertainty.

Most notably, among a plethora of other changes he wants to the bill, the outgoing president wanted the amount that Americans are set to receive in stimulus checks to be increased from $600 per person to $2,000, which is $800 more than people were sent as part of the CARES Act back in March.

“A few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people. It’s taken forever. However, the bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. It really is a disgrace,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday evening.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1341537886315950080

“Despite all of this wasteful spending and much more, the $900 billion package provides hardworking taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments, and not enough money is given to small businesses, and in particular restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously,” he added.

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump also said.

The president argued that the legislation in its present version, which is coupled with $1.4 trillion in omnibus spending, has “almost nothing to do with COVID.”

“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it,” he said.

Here, Trump is referencing the significant amount of money from the bill being delegated toward foreign aid. Controversially among Republicans, $250 million from the bill would comprise aid for Palestinians.

RELATED: COVID-19 relief bill includes hundreds of millions of dollars in Palestinian aid: report

Trump remarked that small businesses, especially restaurants, have not been provided enough money after their owners have “suffered so grievously.”

“They were only given a deduction for others to use in business, their restaurant, for two years,” Trump added. “This two year period must be withdrawn, which will allow the owners to obtain financing and get their restaurants back in condition. Congress can terminate it at a much later date, but two years is not acceptable it’s not enough.”

Included in the relief package are increased jobless benefits, another batch of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small business loans, a direct payment of $600 to individuals, and funding to help facilitate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Trump alerted Congress that if the “wasteful and unnecessary items” are not removed from the bill, the next administration will have to deliver a COVID-19 relief package.

“Maybe that administration will be me,” Trump added, still refusing to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden. “And we will get it done.”

The response from Democrats to Trump’s comments were generally positive, with them eagerly signaling their willingness to increase the amount of money in the stimulus checks to $2,000 per individual:

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Economy

VIDEO: Thousands of packages looted as thieves rob L.A. bound trains

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@JohnSchreiber

The lawlessness of California continues to manifest itself in very visible ways. Videos are emerging on social media showing huge amounts of trash, and in particular, UPS boxes and amazon packages that were en route to residential addresses.

The trash is piling up jut next to the train tracks, where CBS Los Angeles reports train burglaries are on the rise. “There’s loot3ed packages as far as the eye can see. Amazon packages, @UPS boxes, unused Covid tests, fishing lures, epi pens. Cargo containers left busted open on trains” tweeted John Schreiber.

Schreiber added, “I’m told by law enforcement these @UPS bags are especially sought after by thieves opening cargo containers…they are often full of boxes with merchandise bound for residential addresses. More valuable than say, a cargo container full of low value bulky items like toilet paper.”

Schreiber’s multiple videos posted to Twitter show the absolute disgust resulting from the thievery. “As you can see, trains frequently slow or stop in this area as they get worked into the @UnionPacific Intermodal facility near Downtown LA. The thieves use this opportunity to break open containers and take what’s inside, I’d say every 4th or 5th rail car had opened containers.

In another tweet with more photos of damaged property, Schreiber writes, “missing a package? Shipment delayed? Maybe your package is among the thousands we found discarded among the tracks. This is but one area thieves have targeted trains. We were told this area was just cleaned up 30 days ago so what you see is all within the last month. @CBSLA.”

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