WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – The unemployment benefit for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet was set to expire at midnight Saturday until President Donald Trump signed a one-year COVID relief and spending bill Which was considered one. Deal with her sudden objections.
Trump’s refusal to sign the Bipartisan package as he calls for a large COVID relief check and complains about “pork” spending when money runs out at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday in the midst of an epidemic If the federal government can shut down.
“It’s a chess game and we’re pawns,” said Leontris Haines, a self-employed single mother of three in South Bend, Indiana, who stands to lose $ 129 of unemployed benefits, until Trump legislation I do not sign the package and do not succeed in my impossible. Discover Changes.
Washington has already won widely in both houses of Congress since Trump’s package was thrown out, and Republican leaders were assured by the White House that Trump would support it.
Instead, it assimilated the bill’s plan to provide a $ 600 COVID relief check to most Americans – insisting that it should be $ 2,000. House Republicans swiftly rejected that idea during a rare Christmas Eve session. But Trump has not been swayed.
Trump tweeted Saturday from Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending a vacation, “I just want our greats to get $ 2000 now instead of the $ 600 that is in the bill.” “Also, stop billions of dollars in ‘pork’.”
President-Elect Joe Biden called for Trump to quickly sign the bill as two federal programs providing unemployment assistance to expire on Saturday.
“It’s the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know whether they’ll meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority.” Said in a statement. He accused Trump of “sacrificing responsibility”, which has “disastrous consequences”.
“I’m talking to people who are afraid they are about to move out of their homes during the Christmas holidays, and may still happen if we don’t sign this bill,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, One Michigan said. Democrat.
Lauren Bauer, a fellow of economic studies at the Broken Institution, calculated that 11 million people would immediately lose aid from programs without additional relief; There will be millions more unemployment benefits within weeks.
Andrew Stetner, an unemployment insurance specialist and senior fellow at the Century Foundation think tank, said the number could be closer to 14 million as unemployment has increased since Thanksgiving.
Heidi Shirholz, policy director at the Liberal Economic Policy Institute, tweeted on Wednesday, “If Trump doesn’t sign the damn, all these people and their families will suffer.”
How and when people are affected by the lapse depends on the situation in which they live, the program they are relying on and when they apply for benefits. In some states, people on regular unemployment insurance may continue to receive payments under a program that expands benefits when the unemployment rate exceeds a certain threshold, Steitner said.
However, about 9.5 million people rely on the epidemic unemployment assistance program that ends on Saturday. That program made unemployment insurance available to freelancers, gig workers and others who are not normally eligible. After receiving their final check, those recipients will not be able to file for more assistance after Saturday, Stettner said.
While payments can be received retrospectively, any difference means more hardship and uncertainty for Americans who have already struggled with bureaucratic delays, often to save while waiting to kick in payments. Very little of their savings take place.
He is the father of four people like Earl McCarthy, who lives in South Fulton, Georgia, and has been counting on unemployment since he lost his job as a sales representative for a luxury senior living community. He said that if Trump fails to sign the bill, he will have no income until the second week of January.
McCarthy said he already burned through his savings as he waited five months to receive his unemployment benefits. After leaving a weekly message with the unemployment agency, McCarthy arrives at the South Fulton mayor’s office, then to seek help from his state’s legislative representative. They finally started getting paid in November.
“The whole experience was terrible,” said McCarthy, who is receiving about $ 350 per week in unemployment insurance.
“For me, I think if I had nothing left or there was an emergency fund through those five months, we would wonder where we would be?” he said. “If the President does not sign this bill it will be difficult.”
The bill awaiting Trump’s signature would also activate a weekly $ 300 federal supplement for unemployment payments.
Sharon Shelton Corpening was hoping that with the additional help, she would stop paying her $ 1,138 rent to her 83-year-old mother with whom she lives.
Corpking, who lives in the Atlanta area, launched a freelance content strategy business that was shut down before the epidemic hit, ending many of its contracts. He is receiving about $ 125 per week under the pandemic unemployment program and says he will be unable to pay his bills in about a month. This is despite his temporary work for the US Census and as an election worker.
“We are on the verge,” said Corpnning, who lobbies for the unemployment fight, a project launched by the Center for Popular Democracy to fight for relief. “One more month, if that. Then, I get out of everything.
Meanwhile, Trump is spending his final days in office golf and angrily as he refuses to acknowledge his loss to Biden in the November 3 election. On Saturday, he again lashed out at members of his own party and was repeatedly involved in his quest to get involved in trying to reverse the results of the election with baseless claims of massive voter fraud rejected by the courts. Failed
“If a Democrat presidential candidate had an elected Rigveda and theft, evidence of such acts never seen before, Democrat senators would consider it an act of war, and fight to the death,” he said. He said that the majority of Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and his Republicans “just want to let it pass.” no fight!”
Trump also attacked the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the FBI, as he appeared to be encouraging his supporters to gather in Washington on January 6, the day Congress lengthened the Electoral College vote – regardless of previous Month similar incident has developed into violence, Many people were stabbed in the streets of the capital.
In addition to the benefits of unemployment, Trump’s bill reduction would end evictions and prevent a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants and theaters, along with money to help with schools and vaccine distribution. Will go. .
This relief is also tied to a $ 1.4 trillion government funding bill to keep the federal government running.
Olson reported from New York.