WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The fate of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package Congress passed just days ago is now uncertain.
Last night, the president stopped short of threatening to veto the package but did demand changes, including boosting direct payments to $2,000.
“This is absolutely absurd,” Rep. Cheri Bustos, R-Ill., said.
Bustos says the president waited too long to weigh in on the COVID-19 relief bill.
“Every minute that he’s playing these games is a delay from money getting into our economy,” Bustos said.
In a video posted to social media Tuesday, President Donald Trump blasted the newly passed relief package calling it a disgrace.
“Now? After we send it to his desk, he all of sudden wants to play Santa?” Bustos said.
“He was removed from this for months,” she continued. “We’d been asking that amount that he’d agree to.”
Democrats say they support sending Americans $2,000 payments, but they say the president should sign the package on his desk.
“Every minute right now counts,” Bustos said.
In three days, federal unemployment benefits are set to expire.
And since the COVID-19 relief was tacked onto the government funding bill, the president could force the federal government to shut down before New Year’s Day.
Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley hopes it doesn’t come to that.
“I hope the president will sign the bill or let it go into law without his signature,” Grassley said.
But he says $2,000 checks just won’t work.
“I don’t think it is feasible,” Grassley said.
Grassley insists money should only go to Americans in need.
But Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who pushed for higher payments, is siding with the president tweeting, “Let’s get it done.”
“It’s the foundation in which economic recovery will be built, Hawley said. “It’s the working people of this nation who power the American economy.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are willing to vote to increase the stimulus checks but need Republicans to sign on.
“We’ll see if they’re willing to play ball,” Bustos said.