The future US President Joe Biden has warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the outgoing incumbent Donald Trump continues to block a huge corona aid package from Congress. Trump refused to sign the approximately $ 900 billion (€ 740 billion) package. He calls for higher direct payments to citizens than foreseen in it.
As long as Trump stands up, some aid will not be paid at all. Biden therefore accused the loser of the election of “irresponsibility”. According to US media reports, millions of unemployed Americans have already lost aid on Saturday because Trump refused the package.
The Corona aid package is linked to a new budget law. If it does not come into force, there is a threat of federal authorities being shut down at midnight (local time) on Monday. Biden warned that wages for the military were also at risk. In addition, tenants were threatened with evictions. In the US media, experts warned of hunger, bankruptcies and rising suicide rates. “Republicans must stop playing games while Americans are starving,” said Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Twitter.
Trump wants $ 2,000 instead of $ 600 for every citizen
The US Congress had already launched a gigantic economic program in March. At $ 2.2 trillion, it was the largest aid package in US history. Funding was increased in April.
Trump reiterated his opposition to Parliament’s current budget decision on Saturday. Trump wrote in the short message service Twitter that he wanted the “great citizens” to receive a special payment of 2,000 dollars each. The bipartisan law only provides for a “measly” sum of $ 600.
Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had negotiated the aid package and promised payments for the coming week. Trump himself had hardly gotten involved in the negotiations and so far has not shown any concrete way how direct payments could be increased quickly. The Democrats support Trump’s request, but the Republicans in Congress do not, so there is a risk of further stalemate.
USA hit particularly hard by corona crisis
However, Congress can override Trump’s veto and thus clear the way for the aid package with the lower direct payments. This requires a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
It is almost unprecedented in the USA for a president to veto a law passed by a very large majority by both chambers of parliament. On Wednesday, Trump had also vetoed the defense budget approved by Congress.
Biden warned that the loser’s opposition to budgetary decisions meant “small businesses will not survive this harsh winter.” The citizens are dependent on payments “as soon as possible” in order to deal with the devastating effects of the corona crisis.
The United States has been particularly hard hit by the corona pandemic. More than 18.9 million people have been infected with the Sars-Cov-2 pathogen since the beginning of the pandemic, and more than 331,900 people have died in connection with or with the coronavirus – and thus around every thousandth inhabitant.