US President Donald Trump opposed the newly-approved $900bn (£670bn) coronavirus relief bill. He has urged Congress to amend the bill to more than triple its stimulus payments to Americans.
He posted a video message on Twitter. He said the package “really is a disgrace”, full of “wasteful” items.
“It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” he said.
What did Trump say?
He said, “This bill contains $85.5m for assistance to Cambodia, $134m to Burma, $1.3bn for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25m for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan, $505m to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.”
He also raised concern over why Kennedy Center, a performing arts complex in Washington DC, was set to receive $40m when it is not open, and more than $1bn has been allocated to museums and galleries in the capital.
“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault. It was China’s fault.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple.
“I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package,” he concluded.
What is included in the bill?
It is pertinent to mention that the $900bn bill includes one-off $600 payments to most Americans.
Congressional leaders on Monday revealed a 5,593-page package and voted on it several hours later.
According to the international news agency, the bill was approved through the House of Representatives by 359-53 and the Senate by 92-6.
The relief package is composed of several provisions that will help Americans struggling in the pandemic.