Republicans and Democrats in the US House of Representatives on Thursday blocked efforts to change the $ 2.3 trillion coronavirus aid and government spending package, leaving President Donald Trump in doubt after his position called for a sweeping change in the law.
Democrats sought to increase direct payments to Americans, including a bill from $ 600 to $ 2,000 per person as part of a coronavirus economic relief initiative that was acting on a request from Trump. Trump’s fellow Republicans, who opposed the higher amount, blocked that effort.
Republicans then moved to change the amount of foreign aid included in the package, seeking to address another complaint of Trump. Democrats blocked that request. The House then adjourned for the day.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the Chamber would hold a record vote on the stimulus-check increase on Monday.
The flurry of activity on the House floor did nothing to break the deadlock threatening the necessary aid for millions of Americans and increases the likelihood of a partial government shutdown at a time when officials try to distribute two coronavirus vaccines are doing.
Congress can keep operations running by passing a fourth stopgap funding bill before midnight on Monday. To do so successfully, lawmakers will need Trump’s cooperation when he still consumes his November loss to Democrat Joe Biden, who is set to take office on January 20.
Trump was in Florida, where he was due to play golf on Thursday. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The stopgap bill will not include coronavirus assistance.
Embarrassed by his defeat to Biden, Trump pressured Congress to dramatically change the package, which went through a wide, bipartisan margin on Monday.
The 5,500-page bill took months to negotiate and was supported by Trump’s administration.
With the status quo, it was unclear whether Trump would sign the package into law or stay out for further action.
Without his signature, the unemployment benefit for those excluded from work by the epidemic is set to expire on Saturday as soon as possible, and the US government will be forced into a partial shutdown beginning Tuesday.
The House is due to return on Monday to try to override Trump’s veto of an unrelated defense-policy bill that, like the coronovirus package, passed Congress by a wide, bipartisan margin.
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