Politics

‘An Abdication Of Responsibility’: Biden Says Trump Should Approve Coronavirus Bill ‘Now’

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President-elect Joe Biden demanded on Saturday that President Donald Trump sign the COVID-19 bill immediately, according to a statement.

Biden said millions of Americans’ unemployment benefits will expire Saturday and military members may lose aid when government funding ends soon, according to the statement. Biden said millions may be evicted due to the moratorium expiring “in less than a week.”

“It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority. This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences,” Biden said in the statement.

Trump announced in a Twitter video Tuesday that he wouldn’t sign the coronavirus bill Congress passed Monday as it was written. Trump said the stimulus had several “wasteful items,” among them funds for environmental projects and foreign aid, and he called for them to be taken out of the bill, which also funds the government.

The president demanded $2,000 stimulus checks instead of $600 and more help for small businesses, particularly restaurants.

Small businesses will not survive winter without help and Americans may have to wait longer for direct payments to help them face the economic downturn, Biden said in the statement. Biden urged for funding towards vaccine distribution “to millions of Americans, including frontline health care workers.”

“This bill is critical. It needs to be signed into law now,” Biden said in the statement.

Biden called it “a first step and down payment” of more action in early 2021 aimed at stopping the pandemic and restoring the economy, according to his statement. Biden said he would push for vaccine distribution funds and more testing after his inauguration.

Congress passed the bill overwhelmingly Monday, clearing the way for the president to sign it into law. The coronavirus stimulus package will cost around $900 billion and the government funding bill totals $1.4 trillion.

Unless renewed, unemployment benefits will expire Saturday and the government will start to shut down Tuesday, unless Trump acts or Congress passes a new bill, The Hill reported. (RELATED: Millions Of Americans Could Lose Federal Unemployment Benefits Unless Trump Signs Relief Bill)

“In November, the American people spoke clearly that now is a time for bipartisan action and compromise. I was heartened to see members of Congress heed that message, reach across the aisle, and work together,” Biden said in the statement.

Biden urged Trump in his statement to stand with Americans and ensure millions of them have food and shelter during the holidays.

The Biden transition team didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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