Relief bill in Trump limbo arrives at Mar-a-Lago

The $2.3 trillion government funding and coronavirus relief package that was passed by Congress has arrived at President Trump’s resort in Florida. 

A source familiar with the situation confirmed to The Hill that the bill has arrived at Mar-a-Lago, where the president is staying for the holidays.

The package faces an uncertain fate after Trump panned the bill this week following months of back-and-forth talks with congressional Democrats and Republicans.

Trump has not actually threatened to veto the package, though he has also not said he will sign it. A number of Republicans including Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) have urged him to sign the package to prevent a government shutdown and a cessation of unemployment benefits.

“The best way out of this is for the president to sign the bill,” Blunt, a member of Senate GOP leadership, told reporters on Thursday. 

Unemployment benefits are set to expire on Saturday if they are not renewed, while a government shutdown would begin on Tuesday without action by the president or the passage of a new bill by Congress, which would also have to be signed by Trump before Tuesday.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding if Trump plans to sign or veto the bill.

Congress passed legislation earlier this week that includes a $900 billion COVID-19 relief measure and $1.4 trillion omnibus to fund the government until October.

Among the provisions of the relief part of the package are stimulus checks for up to $600 per adult and per child, an extension of two coronavirus-era unemployment programs and the addition of $300 to all weekly unemployment benefits and $284 billion for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

The president specifically called on Congress to raise the amount of the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. Democrats in the House offered legislation on Thursday to do so, but it was blocked by Republicans. 

Trump also tore into spending provisions such as $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia and $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington that were included in the omnibus and signed off on by his administration and Republicans.

His decision to announce his sudden opposition caught members of both parties off guard.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a top Trump ally in Congress, was seen golfing with the president in Florida on Friday by a pool reporter, though it was not immediately clear if they were discussing the package.

Tags CARES Act Donald Trump Lindsey Graham Roy Blunt U.S. federal government response to the COVID-19 pandemic
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