UPDATE 8:18pm President Donald Trump has signed the massive $2.3 trillion dollar coronavirus relief and government funding bill into law Sunday night, according to multiple sources, averting a government shutdown that was set to begin on Tuesday, and extending billions of dollars in coronavirus aid to millions.
WASHINGTON – President Donald dTrump is expected to sign a spending bill into law before Monday night’s deadline and avert a government shutdown, two people familiar with his plans said, a move that would release $900 billion in stimulus funds as soon as possible.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remained fluid and they were not authorized to disclose Trump’s plans.
Trump’s apparent decision to sign the bill came less than a week after he demanded changes to it and had suggested that he would refuse to sign it.
The government was set to shut down Tuesday if Trump would not sign the bill. The spending package also included a new round of stimulus checks, unemployment aid, and small-business assistance.
Trump hinted that there had been a development on Sunday, when he wrote on Twitter that there was “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!”
Congress overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan bill Monday night, and Trump released a video Tuesday, demanding changes. He said, among other things, that the bill should have authorized stimulus checks of $2,000 per person instead of the $600 payments that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had secured. Trump also wanted spending cuts to be included in the package.
Before the video was posted, Mnuchin had said the stimulus checks could be sent as soon as this week. It’s unclear whether the roughly week-long delay would push back the issuance of the payments.
Trump’s declaration that he wanted changes made to the bill stunned congressional leaders and many of his own aides. The spending and stimulus bill had been negotiated with Mnuchin and other White House officials, and the treasury secretary had praised the legislation in a Monday CNBC appearance.
Over the weekend, Trump tweets appearing to continue his insistence on the $2,000 checks. Approving the checks, however, did not seem politically feasible in time to avert a Tuesday shutdown. Many Democrats supported the idea of larger stimulus checks, but a number of Republicans opposed it. Approving such a change without unanimous consent in one day is not possible.