US President Donald Trump departs the White House in Washington, DC, on Dec. 12, 2020.
Aandrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump signed a massive coronavirus relief and government funding package into law Sunday, days after he sent Washington into a panic by suggesting he could veto the bill.
He refused to approve the legislation for days after receiving it, blowing past a Saturday deadline to prevent an estimated 14 million people from temporarily losing unemployment insurance. The measure extends the expanded jobless benefits into March, but millions of people are expected to lose a week of benefits due to Trump’s delay in signing the bill.
The government would have shut down Tuesday during a deadly pandemic if Trump did not approve the legislation.
The president called the bill a “disgrace” on Tuesday night — after Congress already approved it following talks which included his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Trump claimed he opposed the bill because it included $600 rather than $2,000 direct payments, and because the $1.4 trillion government spending portion of the package included foreign aid money. The president’s own White House has included those funds in its budgets.
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