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Trump finally caves in, signs Covid-19 relief bill into law

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The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has finally signed the controversial Covid-19 relief and spending package bill into law, thereby averting a partial government shutdown.

After a standoff, Trump finally signed the bill on Sunday, December 27.

Trump had initially refused to sign the bill, saying he wanted to give the US citizens bigger one-off payments, which caused serious friction between him and the incoming President, Joe Biden.

Biden has verbally attacked Trump for refusing to sign the $892bn COVID-19 relief bill into law, saying the “funding would provide much-needed support to Americans hit hard by the virus and an economic downturn caused by the pandemic, if signed into law.”

He also accused Trump of an “abdication of responsibility” that could have “devastating consequences.”

Read also: Biden tears into Trump for refusing to sign COVID-19 relief bill

The bill includes a payment of $600 to Americans earning less than $75,000 a year but Trump had said he wanted Americans to receive $2,000.

The relief package had earlier been approved by Congress after months of negotiation as part of a $2.3tn spending package that includes $1.4tn for normal federal government spending.

The Washington Post report that had Trump not signed the bill into law by midnight on Monday, a partial government shutdown would have begun unless legislators passed a stop-gap bill.

About 14 million Americans faced a lapse in unemployment benefit payments and new stimulus cheques and with the signing of the bill into law, unemployment benefits will now be restored.

While signing the bill, Trump said he was sending “a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed.”

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