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President Trump has signed a measure to continue funding the government for an additional 24 hours needed by Congress to put the finishing touches on their compromise legislation, he announced overnight.
In a statement from the White House press secretary’s office released just before midnight Monday, the commander-in-chief confirmed that he had signed the continuing resolution.
The move grants the divided House and Senate an extra day to push through their hotly contested COVID-19 relief measure alongside a $1.4 trillion government funding bill.
On Friday, Congress passed an original two-day extension, which provided lawmakers with an opening to continue their work following months of legislative paralysis.
It was after this expired that the second extension was sought.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday that negotiations were “very close” to becoming successful while speaking on the Senate floor on the state of talks.
“Our bipartisan discussions are continuing to make significant headway toward another relief package for the American people,” the soon-to-be top elected Republican argued from the Senate floor Friday.
McConnell, along with the fellow members of House and Senate leadership, has pledged that the bodies could not break for Christmas without the legislation being pushed through.
The compromise bill establishes a temporary $300 per week supplement to jobless benefits and includes $600 direct stimulus payments to most Americans.
President Trump, meanwhile, has pushed for higher direct payments, even arguing in favor of the number being raised back to $1,200, and higher.
In March, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief package which included $1,200 direct payments to most Americans.
The compromise bill, meanwhile, provides more subsidies for businesses, more funds for schools and health-care providers, and eviction protection for renters.
“Why isn’t Congress giving our people a Stimulus Bill? It wasn’t their fault, it was the fault of China. GET IT DONE, and give them more money in direct payments,” he tweeted Sunday.
Without action by Congress, millions of Americans out of work as a result of the coronavirus, which has killed over 318,000 people in the US and shattered the global economy, would have lost unemployment benefits on Dec. 26.
With Post wires
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