“Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600?” he said on Twitter, possibly referring to his own party’s move on Thursday to block a House Democratic bill that would have increased the size of direct payments to $2,000. “It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!”
Mr. Trump was largely uninvolved with the negotiations over the legislation, but his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, was thought to be negotiating on the president’s behalf.
The aid bill also includes billions of dollars to help states with coronavirus vaccine distribution, a replenished small business loan program and relief money for airlines. It was passed along with a spending measure to keep the government funded for the remainder of the fiscal year, the cost of the combined package is $2.3 trillion.
Treasury Department officials, expecting that the president would sign the bill this week, had been planning to work through the Christmas holiday period to relaunch the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and to push payments through direct deposit by early next week. However, that all now sits in limbo.
The Second Stimulus
Answers to Your Questions About the Stimulus Bill
Updated Dec 23, 2020
Lawmakers agreed to a plan to issue stimulus payments of $600 and distribute a federal unemployment benefit of $300 for 11 weeks. You can find more about the bill and what’s in it for you here.
- Will I receive another stimulus payment? Individual adults with adjusted gross income on their 2019 tax returns of up to $75,000 a year would receive a $600 payment, and heads of households making up to $112,500 and a couple (or someone whose spouse died in 2020) earning up to $150,000 a year would get twice that amount. If they have dependent children, they would also get $600 for each child. People with incomes just above these levels would receive a partial payment that declines by $5 for every $100 in income.
- When might my payment arrive? Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he expected the first payments to go out before the end of the year. But it will be a while before all eligible people receive their money.
- Does the agreement affect unemployment insurance? Lawmakers agreed to extend the amount of time that people can collect unemployment benefits and restart an extra federal benefit that is provided on top of the usual state benefit. But instead of $600 a week, it would be $300. That would last through March 14.
- I am behind on my rent or expect to be soon. Will I receive any relief? The agreement would provide $25 billion to be distributed through state and local governments to help renters who have fallen behind. To receive assistance, households would have to meet several conditions: Household income (for 2020) cannot exceed more than 80 percent of the area median income; at least one household member must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability; and individuals must qualify for unemployment benefits or have experienced financial hardship — directly or indirectly — because of the pandemic. The agreement said assistance would be prioritized for families with lower incomes and that have been unemployed for three months or more.
Lawmakers in Congress and White House officials have indicated that they remain uncertain if Mr. Trump will relent and sign the legislation, issue a formal veto or just leave it unsigned. While Congress could potentially override Mr. Trump’s veto, sitting on the bill — a so-called pocket veto — would require the next Congress to reintroduce and vote on the legislation early next year.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said that she would hold a roll-call vote on Monday on direct payments legislation that would satisfy Mr. Trump’s call for $2,000 direct payments and put pressure on Republicans, who oppose payments that high. Congress could also be forced to pass another stopgap spending measure to avoid a shutdown.
Official figures released this week revealed the persistent stress facing the economy with personal income falling and jobless claims remaining elevated. An additional 398,000 people filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, one of two federal programs to expand jobless benefits that will expire.