Trump’s refusal to sign the COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill is “Cruel,” says Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders & Pres. Donald Trump
Sen. Bernie Sanders & Pres. Donald Trump

President Donald Trump continues to refuse to sign the $900 billion COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill that includes a $600 stimulus check to Americans. Millions have lost their jobs due to the ongoing pandemic and are hoping the federal government through the leadership of the president will help them stay afloat.

Trump threatened to veto the bill. He is demanding that Congress increase the stimulus check to $2,000.

On Sunday, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) urged Trump to sign the COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill. He said the president’s refusal to approve it as “cruel.

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“Sign the bill, Mr. President, and then immediately–Monday, Tuesday–we can pass a $2,000 direct payment to the working families of this country,” said Sanders during an interview with ABC This Week.

During the negotiations on the bill earlier this month, Sanders and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO)  started a public campaign to increase the stimulus check to $2,000.  However, they have “not heard a word” from the White House or its Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about increasing the amount until now.

Sanders said, “Everybody assumed that Mnuchin was representing the White House,” making it clear that Trump’s administration didn’t have any plans for increasing the sum of the direct payment amid negotiations.

There is no information yet on Pres. Trump’s real intentions and whether or not he will sign the stimulus package. However, Trump made it clear in his Saturday tweet that the $600 stimulus check is too low and that it should be $2000 instead.

 Sen. Sanders agrees with Trump on increasing the amount but he said it won’t be possible given the current economic crisis confronting the United States.

“My view is that, 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 — but you can’t diddle around with the bill,” he added.

Furthermore, Sanders said, “What the President is doing right now is unbelievably cruel. There’s money in that bill, and this president is diddling around, and he may actually veto it… What we need to do is have the president sign that bill today, right now, or else the suffering in this country will be immense.” 

The  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program expires on Sunday. That means 9.5 million unemployed Americans depending on it will not receive the additional $300 weekly financial aid to their unemployment benefits, according to the Brookings Institution.  In other words, millions of American families will suffer if Trump continues to delay signing the bill.


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