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More COVID-19 Financial Help is on the Way – But How Much?

12-28-2020
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President Trump's Sunday night decision to sign the $900 billion combination COVID relief/government spending plan averts a government shutdown tonight, but he's still seeking cuts to government spending and more money for individual Americans.

The president initially refused to sign the bill because it included aid to other nations and extras that had nothing to do with the pandemic. And the president wants $2,000 payments to individuals, much more than the $600 now in the bill. 

Trump tweeted Sunday, "Increase payments to the people, get rid of the 'pork'."

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Democrats also support larger checks to Americans. 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told ABC's This Week program, "Given the terrible economic crisis facing this country, yes, we do need to get $2,000 out to every working-class individual in this country, $500 for their kids..."

The bill Trump agreed to sign includes the $600 payments, but he's still calling on Congress to cut wasteful spending and sent a list of provisions he wants to be eliminated. 

The bill also provides enhanced federal jobless pay at about $300 per week and loans for small businesses. 

It also gives $25 billion for rental assistance.

The House is set to vote on separate legislation today to increase direct payments to Americans to $2,000, but many Republicans oppose large stimulus checks because of how the additional government debt could damage the economy long term. 

Earlier Sunday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) encouraged the president to pursue the two-bill track.

 "I think what he ought to do is sign this bill and then make the case. Congress can pass another bill.  I don't agree with $2,000 checks for people who have had no lost income whatsoever, which is the vast majority of Americans, but the president is free to make that case, Democrats will agree to that."  

But for those Americans who have lost jobs and businesses and now face evictions from their homes, $600 isn't enough.

Daniel Mars said, "The American people are literally dying, they are starving. Please sign the bill. We know it's not enough, we know it's not going to make up for everything, but it gets us by." 

 Amanda Drinin said, "I worry and I care about myself and my family. We need COVID relief so bad."

And relief in some form is on the way.

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