Trump Backtracks On Threats, Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump signed the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Sunday evening after publicly protesting against it, the White House announced.

The bill provides $600 in direct cash payments for eligible Americans – a number that Trump decried after the bill passed through Congress shortly before Christmas. Trump demanded the bill include $2,000 direct cash payments instead and held out for days as federal unemployment benefits expired for millions of people.

“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” Trump said in a statement after signing the bill on Sunday, deputy press secretary Judd Deere tweeted.

Trump sent “Congress a redlined version … accompanied by the formal recession request to Congress insisting that those funds removed from the bill,” according to Deere. The president added that “much more money is coming” and declared that he “will never give up my fight for the American people!”

Trump’s signature comes after long negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. They passed the bill, which includes extra weekly unemployment benefits and money for small businesses, on Dec. 20, NPR reported. (RELATED: Pat Toomey: Trump’s Legacy Will Be ‘Chaos And Misery And Erratic Behavior’ If He Doesn’t Sign COVID Bill)

Deere also noted on Sunday that the Senate will vote to increase checks for eligible Americans to $2,000 as well as begin “an investigation into voter fraud.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell applauded Trump’s decision to sign the bill, adding that he is “glad the American people will receive this much-needed assistance as our nation continues battling this pandemic.”

“The bipartisan rescue package that Republicans in Congress and the Trump Administration negotiated with the Democrats will extend another major lifeline to workers at struggling small businesses, renew major relief for laid-off Americans, invest billions more in vaccine distribution, send cash directly to households and more,” McConnell said in a statement before noting that the “bill is not perfect.”