An impending standstill in government business has now been averted. Because the US president had initially refused to sign the stimulus package, he was also criticized by party friends.
The outgoing US President Donald Trump has released the corona aid package that was painstakingly put together by Congress. After a day-long blockade, he signed the aid on Sunday and thus averted the imminent partial closure of the federal authorities.
Trump’s relenting followed ever more urgent requests, demands and expressions of displeasure from the ranks of the Democrats, but also the Republicans. After a long struggle, the two parties had agreed on the package with a volume of 900 billion dollars.
The stimulus package also passed a portion of the federal government budget of around $ 1.4 trillion. With his signature, Trump is now preventing the government from running out of money from Tuesday. Without his signature, government business would have come to a standstill, a so-called shutdown.
Trump had criticized parts of the draft as wasteful and at the same time demanded more aid for the unemployed than the planned one-off payment of 600 dollars.
His sudden U-turn is likely to be related not only to the growing pressure from within his own ranks, but also to the impending shutdown. If it had come to a standstill, his presidency would have ended in a mess.
The Republican Trump lost the presidential election on November 3rd against the Democrat Joe Biden. Trump continues to refuse to admit defeat. Biden is due to be sworn in on January 20th.
Financial aid for small and medium-sized businesses
The fact that Trump delayed his signature on the 5500-page legislative package, however, has consequences. On Saturday, measures for a more generous regulation of unemployment benefits expired without replacement. Because Trump only signed the law on Sunday, millions of unemployed will receive little or no support for a week. The stimulus package provides for a $ 300 increase in unemployment benefits per week through March. As a result of the Corona crisis, around 20.4 million people in the USA recently received some form of unemployment benefit, almost 19 million more than at the same time in 2019.
The economic stimulus package also provides for further financial aid for small and medium-sized enterprises. Additional money for schools and for distributing the vaccines in the country is also planned. Trump signed the package now on his Christmas vacation in Florida.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thanked Trump “for signing this relief.”
The corona pandemic has plunged the US into a serious crisis, both economically and in terms of the health of the people in the country. A good 19 million people have been infected with the corona virus there so far. More than 333,000 people have died in connection with Covid-19. In absolute terms, that’s more infections and deaths than any other country in the world.