On The Money: Trump slams relief bill, calls on Congress to increase stimulus money | Biden faces new critical deadlines after relief package | Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling

Hello and happy Wednesday, welcome back to On The Money. I’m Niv Elis, filling in for Sylvan Lane, with your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL: President Trump on Tuesday evening blasted Congress over the already-passed COVID-19 relief package and called on both chambers to send him a new bill increasing stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.

The president expressed dismay with the $2.3 trillion package that Congress passed Monday, which includes $900 billion in coronavirus relief and $1.4 trillion to fund the government until October, conflating the two bills and saying the spending goals were misguided.

Trump did not explicitly threaten to veto the package, which passed both chambers with overwhelming, veto-proof majorities. If he vetoes or opts not to sign the bill by Monday at midnight, the government will shut down and several key unemployment benefits will expire.

The federal government is currently funded through Dec. 28 as part of a stopgap bill. 

The fallout:

  • Trump’s position has put Republicans in a bind. They are waiting to see what Trump does on the relief package. More from Alex Bolton here.

  • Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have jumped on board, seizing the opportunity to press for a larger stimulus checks. Progressives are ecstatic

  • The move has thrown a curve ball into the crucial Georgia Senate races scheduled for Jan. 5, which will decide control of the upper Chamber. Read more from Naomi Jagoda here.

Read more about Trump’s Tuesday night shocker, which followed the announcement that he had pardoned a slew of controversial people, in this story from me and Tal Axelrod here.

LEADING THE DAY: The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package Congress approved Monday set up a series of tough deadlines for the incoming Biden administration. 

Expanded unemployment benefits are slated to phase out starting in mid-March. Other benefits intended to help businesses and keep people in their homes will expire as soon as Jan. 31.

While the latest COVID-19 relief package is expected to help avert another economic downturn and save millions of people from falling over a financial cliff, it is also coming at one of the hardest moments of the downturn.

Assuming the bill is signed into law, here’s my story on the toughest deadlines Biden will face when he gets into office.

Questions and answers about the second round of stimulus payments: Congress on Monday passed a $900 billion coronavirus relief package that includes a second round of direct payments for most Americans.

The relief package, which has yet to be signed into law, would provide payments of up to $600 for adults and children. The checks for adults are smaller than the $1,200 payments from earlier in the pandemic, but the amount for children is up $100 compared with the first round.

The new payments have garnered widespread interest and questions as millions of Americans struggle to pay basic expenses as a result of the pandemic. President Trump, however, slammed the relief bill on Tuesday night and called on Congress to increase the stimulus checks to $2,000 each.

In doing so, he suggested he might not sign the legislation, but stopped short of saying he would veto the measure, which includes funding to keep the government open through Sept. 30.

Naomi has the answers to key questions about the second round of stimulus payments included in the $900 billion package right here.

Labor rule allows restaurants to require broader tip pooling:  A final Labor Department rule released Tuesday will allow restaurants to require servers to pool their tips with staff that traditionally do not receive tips, and softens restrictions on non-tipped work for employees who earn a lower, tipped minimum wage.

The rule will only allow required tip pooling for restaurants that pay a full minimum wage, however, and bars managers and owners from partaking in the tip pooling, part of a 2018 compromise between Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) and then-Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

But critics say that the rule could allow restaurants and bars to skimp on wages for non-tipped staff such as cooks and dishwashers, covering those wages with pooled tip money from servers instead.

I’ve got more details for you here.


  • 803,000 file jobless claims, down from previous week (but still higher than recent months)

  • Personal income falls 1.1 percent, spending down 0.4 percent in November

  • Stocks rise after vaccine news, despite Trump surprise and less-than-reassuring economic news


Tags Alexander Acosta Charles Schumer Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Patty Murray
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