Covid Relief and Government Funding Bill Jeopardized by Stimulus Check Issue

Following President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign the recently negotiated legislation to fund the government and distribute economic aid to millions across an ailing country, House Republicans blocked his effort to increase the individual stimulus check amount from $600 to $2,000, essentially stalling what was thought to finally be an agreement. Although Democrats are in favor of a larger payment for Americans, the House appears to be divided once again in a standoff regarding the issue.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the chamber will conduct a recorded vote on the stimulus check issue on Monday. Republicans are opposed to the increase and had compromised at a $600 direct payment in an effort to keep the overall package below $1 trillion. The bill, which took months of negotiating, is comprised of 5,500 pages and was originally supported by the White House who said Trump would sign it.

Without the president’s signature, the bill has thus far failed to become law, leaving the unemployed with expiring benefits the day after Christmas and forcing a partial government shutdown effective as of Tuesday unless a temporary stop gap funding measure is issued prior to midnight on Monday.

Trump also opposed other aspects of the bill including foreign aid, calling it a waste of money. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stated on Thursday Democrats should show their willingness to address foreign spending and other elements viewed as wasteful. In order to reignite the progress that was being made, President Trump’s cooperation will also be required.