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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 “This two year period must be withdrawn, which will allow the owners to obtain financing and get their restaurants back in condition.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

TX Federal Judge takes ‘extraordinary’ step to ‘fast track’ ruling on Biden’s student loan forgiveness, forego trial

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cash stimulus for coronavirus

Just The News reported on an “extraordinary move” by one Texas judge who is prepared to cancel President Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness payments.

U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman, a Trump appointee, says he is ready to decide the merits of Biden’s plan and skip the preliminary injunction and customary trial.

“U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman had been holding a hearing on a request from the small business group Job Creators Network’s legal arm on behalf of two plaintiffs to issue a preliminary injunction blocking Biden from enacting the debt relief until the legality of his executive order was decided” Just The News reports.

However, Pittman declared “in a five-sentence, one-page order that the government and plaintiff lawyers had made all the necessary arguments and that a trial would not elicit further evidence so he is ready to move to a judgement on the merits of the case.”

“Having held a hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction and reviewed the related briefing, the Court intends to consolidate as it appears that the Parties have presented their case and no evidence of significance would be forthcoming at trial,” wrote Pittman.

Pittman said he was prepared to advance the preliminary objection request “to a determination on the merits” and gave the Justice Department and plaintiff lawyers until Friday to file any objections to his plan.

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