President Donald Trump declared on Sunday night that he was signing the Coronavirus stimulus package and the government spending bill. He signed the $2.3 trillion pandemic relief and spending bill after reaching an agreement with Congress over stimulus checks, Section 230, and voter fraud, the White House said.
The president said that he would use the Impoundment Reform Act of 1974 to try to force Congress to abandon “wasteful spending” in order to get them to increase the Coronavirus stimulus checks to the levels he requested last week.
“As President of the United States, it is my responsibility to protect the people of our country from the economic devastation and hardship that was caused by the China Virus,” President Trump said. “I understand that many small businesses have been forced to close as a result of harsh actions by Democrat-run states. Many people are back to work, but my job is not done until everyone is back to work.”
“Fortunately, as a result of my work with Congress in passing the CARES Act earlier this year, we avoided another Great Depression. Under my leadership, Project Warp Speed has been a tremendous success, my administration and I developed a vaccine many years ahead of wildest expectations, and we are distributing these vaccines, and others soon coming, to millions of people,” he continued.
Trump’s signing of the bill, which includes a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, means a partial government shutdown is now averted, while financial aid for Americans will be delivered.
“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” President Trump added.
Trump said that he would sign the bill along with making many rescissions under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA), which allows the president to “impound funds when he transmits a ‘special message’ in accordance with the ICA,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office explains. “Upon sending the message, amounts proposed for rescission (that is, for permanent cancellation) may be impounded for a period of 45 days of continuous congressional session.”
“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill,” Trump said. “I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more.”
This comes following a delay due to Congress’s failure to meet Trump’s demand to increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 per person. Trump had repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction over what he described as “wasteful” spending in the bill while Americans continue to struggle due to pandemic lockdowns.
“On Monday the House will vote to increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000. Therefore, a family of four would receive $5,200,” he added. “Additionally, Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed.”
Section 230 currently allows companies to block or screen content “in good faith” if they consider it “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”
Meanwhile, Trump also said that both houses of Congress agreed to “focus strongly” on the slew of evidence of voting irregularities that allegedly occurred during the 2020 presidential election. The president noted that the Senate will now be starting “an investigation into voter fraud.”
Trump has also demanded that Republican senators “step up and fight for the presidency” as lawmakers weigh in on whether to participate in a proposed effort to challenge electoral college votes on Jan. 6.