President Donald Trump signed into law Wednesday night the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” the coronavirus relief bill first offered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week.
“The Act makes emergency supplemental appropriations and other changes to law to help the Nation respond to the coronavirus outbreak,” the president wrote in a statement. (RELATED: Here’s What Every State In The Country Is Doing To Fight Coronavirus)
“One provision of the bill (division B, section 2302(c)) purports to require the Secretary of Agriculture, upon certain events, to submit a report to the Congress that includes legislative recommendations,” he continued. “My Administration, including the Secretary, will respectfully treat this provision in a manner consistent with Article II, section 3 of the Constitution, which provides the President the exclusive authority to ‘recommend’ to the Congress such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had urged senators to vote for the bill despite its flaws and had vowed to not take recess until the Senate offered up an additional piece of legislation.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has stated that the White House is also crafting a “Phase 3” stimulus, totaling more than $1 trillion, that includes two direct payments to taxpayers, with one coming in April and another in May.
The package also includes $500 billion in loans to small businesses and various industry bailouts. Mnuchin, Pelosi, McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are expected to formally begin Phase 3 negotiations Thursday.