If you were looking for an easy way to absolutely ruin the American economy, pay attention to the ongoing bickering in Washington DC this week.
With Congress unable to see eye-to-eye with President Trump on a coronavirus stimulus package before Christmas, millions of Americans are about to enter with New Year with but one resolution: Financial survival.
Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet were set to lapse at midnight Saturday unless President Donald Trump signed an end-of-year COVID relief and spending bill that had been considered a done deal before his sudden objections.
Trump’s refusal to sign the bipartisan package as he demands larger COVID relief checks and complains about “pork” spending could also force a federal government shutdown when money runs out at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday in the middle of a pandemic.
Americans were rightfully upset.
“It’s a chess game and we are pawns,” said Lanetris Haines, a self-employed single mother of three in South Bend, Indiana, who stands to lose her $129 weekly jobless benefit unless Trump signs the package into law or succeeds in his improbable quest for changes.
President Trump had asked Congress to increase the direct payments to Americans in the bipartisan-backed bill, and Democratic legislators immediately produced an amendment that would do just that. Congressional Republicans ended up axing the deal, however, setting up a strange rift between the White House and the Capitol-dwelling members of the GOP.
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