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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 “This two year period must be withdrawn, which will allow the owners to obtain financing and get their restaurants back in condition.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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CO leaders stating they won’t use any city money to support migrants or to alleviate the crisis in Denver

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In February 2018, Denver city leaders sent a valentine to foreigners interested in relocating to the progressive mountain city and a message to any elected officials looking to stop them:

Draped on Denver’s City and County building was a large, blue banner: “Denver ❤️ Immigrants.”

Then-mayor Michael Hancock event posted on social media that it was a statement of “love” to let immigrants know that Denver is “an open and welcoming city.” However, six years later, Denver residents are facing an uphill battle of repercussions from the liberal leaders’ actions. Amid a crisis that has seen more than 40,000 migrants arrive in the city since late 2022, Denver leaders have a new message: If you stay in Denver, you will suffer.

“The opportunities are over,” an official with new mayor Mike Johnston’s office told a gathering of migrants in Spanish inside a city shelter in late March, according to a video obtained by a local television station. “New York gives you more. Chicago gives you more.”

On Monday, Douglas County filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado and its Democratic governor Jared Polis in Denver District Court over the issue.

The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of two state laws passed by Democrats in the Colorado legislature: a 2019 law that restricted the ability of local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials in civil cases, and a 2023 law that prohibits local governments from entering or renewing detention agreements with ICE and that prohibits them from funding immigration detention facilities owned or operated privately.

“The nation is facing an immigration crisis. The nation, the state, and local governments need to cooperate and share resources to address this crisis,” the lawsuit states, adding that the 2019 and 2023 laws in question “prohibit the necessary cooperation and create dangerous conditions for the State and migrants.”

Teal contends that “the state doesn’t have the inherent authority to limit the ability of a local jurisdiction to work with any agency, regardless be it local, state, or federal.” By doing so, he said, “the state is inhibiting the local communities, the local jurisdictions from providing for the safety” of their residents.

“We are seeing what is going on in Denver, and we do not want that coming here to Douglas County. It is not safe,” Douglas County commissioner Lora Thomas, a former state trooper, said during a Monday morning press conference announcing the lawsuit.

Douglas commissioner Abe Laydon said on Monday that the lawsuit “is about putting America first and about putting Coloradans first.” As a Latino, he said, he recognizes “the plight of those seeking refuge and asylum here in the United States,” but he added that “Douglas County is a place where quality of life comes first.”

National Review reports on the mile-high city’s crisis:

In January, the city was housing and feeding almost 5,000 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, in hotel shelters. Other migrants slept in tents on sidewalks and in parking lots, adding a new wrinkle to Denver’s ongoing struggles with panhandling and squalid homeless camps.

At intersections throughout Denver, migrants with water bottles and squeegees head into traffic to try to make a few bucks washing drivers’ windshields.

To address a migrant-driven financial crunch, the city is now cutting hours at local rec centers, slashing park programming, and freezing hiring in some departments. To save a little money, the city has decided against planting flowers in some of its parks and medians this spring.

The migrant crisis has cost the Denver region at least $170 million, according to a conservative estimate by Colorado’s Common Sense Institute, which looked at city spending as well as school and hospital costs, and is almost surely an undercount.

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