Joe Biden urges Trump to sign COVID-19 relief bill

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President-elect Joe Biden urged President Trump Saturday to sign the coronavirus relief bill approved by Congress last week, warning that “this abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences.”

“Today, about 10 million Americans will lose unemployment insurance benefits. In just a few days, government funding will expire, putting vital services and paychecks for military personnel at risk,” Biden wrote in a statement.

“Delay means more small businesses won’t survive this dark winter because they lack access to the lifeline they need, and Americans face further delays in getting the direct payments they deserve as quickly as possible to help deal with the economic devastation caused by COVID-19,” he added.

Biden said he was pleased to see the original bill passed with large bipartisan majorities last week and planned to expand on its provisions after he took office.

“This bill is critical. It needs to be signed into law now. But it is also a first step and down payment on more action that we’ll need to take early in the new year to revive the economy and contain the pandemic,” said Biden.

After months of tortured negotiations in Congress, Trump said he was unhappy with the $900 billion coronavirus relief package, arguing that it was fat with pork, and that the $600 direct payments to individual Americans was too stingy.

“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork,’” he tweeted Saturday.

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