Bipartisan lawmakers urge Trump to either sign or immediately veto coronavirus relief bill
A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers of Congress on Sunday reissued their call for President Trump to sign a nearly $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package — or to immediately veto it.
The group of 11 senators and representatives made up of Republicans including Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Mitt Romney (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Democrats including Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Joe Manchin (W.V.) urged the president to “show your support for the American people who are in need of emergency lifelines like food, shelter, unemployment benefits and small business relief during these challenging times” and sign the bill.
“If your objection to the COVID-19 relief bill will prevent you from signing, please veto it immediately. You’ve made your position clear and rejecting it quickly will allow those in favor to act before it is too late,” the lawmakers continued. “Never before in your personal, professional, or political life have you been characterized as a man of inaction. Now is not the time to sit idly by – please do the right thing and sign or veto this bill immediately.”
Trump has not directly threatened to veto the legislation, which is the product of months of negotiations and is attached to a government funding bill, but he also has not indicated he would sign it. Instead, he has repeatedly blasted the legislation since its passage in Congress for including $600 payments to most Americans rather than $2,000 checks — a demand he made only after the bill was approved by both chambers.
If the president continues to refuse to take any action on the relief package, it would cause the legislation to die upon the start of the new legislative session in January.
Unemployment benefits and other protections included in earlier coronavirus relief legislation expired overnight, and government funding runs out at Monday night at midnight.
An effort by Democrats to pass a clean bill containing just the $2,000 payments is headed to the House floor Monday for a vote but is not expected to pass the Senate, where it is opposed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).