Donald Trump signs COVID relief bill, averts government shutdown

US President Donald Trump has signed the pandemic relief and government-funding measure, averting government shutdown. He had earlier called the Congress-approved bill a “disgrace.”

President Trump did not immediately indicate why he decided to sign the bill now

US President Donald Trump on Sunday signed into law a massive $2.3 trillion (€1.88 trillion) pandemic aid and spending package, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a partial federal government shutdown.

The president announced the signing in a statement Sunday night. “I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more,” the president said in a statement from his Christmas vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Trump, who leaves office on January 20 after losing November’s election, backed down from his threat to block the bill, which was approved by Congress last week, after he came under intense pressure from lawmakers on both sides.

Trump had earlier called the bill a “disgrace,” demanding that various spending provisions, including some foreign aid, be ripped from the budget. He had also insisted that the direct stimulus payments to households be increased from the $600 in the bill to $2,000.

The president did not immediately indicate why he decided to sign now. Hours before he did, he said on Twitter to expect “good news.”

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