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Pelosi: Bipartisan COVID relief and spending bill passed and on to President Trump

But will he sign it?
Stimulus check
Posted at 9:44 AM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 16:59:07-05

WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced on Twitter Thursday the House and Senate have sent the bipartisan COVID relief bill to President Donald Trump to sign. The announcement comes after efforts to quickly increase direct payments from $600 to $2,000 in the stimulus bill initially seemed to have failed to move forward Thursday.

In a tweet, Pelosi stated, "The bipartisan COVID relief & omnibus bill has been enrolled. The House & Senate are now sending this important legislation #ForThePeople to the White House for the President’s signature. We urge him to sign this bill into law to give immediate relief to hard-working families!"

Earlier Thursday, Pelosi issued a statement that the House will be back in session on Monday, "where we will hold a recorded vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000."

After months of negotiations, Congress agreed on and passed nearly a trillion dollars in relief aid Monday. The package includes up to $600 payments to individuals, in addition to supplemental jobless benefits, help for small businesses and a moratorium on evictions.

The relief package was also attached to the overall $1.4 trillion government funding bill, which included federal spending and priorities for the next fiscal year across all departments and agencies.

President Donald Trump, who had not personally been involved in the negotiations but rather had surrogates from the administration participate, tweeted a video Tuesday in which he indicated he may not sign the bill and called for larger checks to Americans, around $2,000. The bill has not been signed yet.

Democrats supported the president’s call, and moved quickly to increase the direct payments to $2,000 in order to secure the president’s signature and pass the relief package into law.

The House tried to pass the larger payments addendum during a pro forma session, which is a brief meeting of the chamber where typically only a few members attend. Democrats had hoped to approve the measure by unanimous consent. That did not happen, according to The Hill and CNBC.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sought to pass the measure, while Representative Rob Wittman wanted to bring up a competing measure, according to The Hill. The representative presiding over the session Thursday morning shot down both requests, saying that according to guidelines, legislation cannot be considered by unanimous consent unless there is the approval of bipartisan leadership.

The Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy said the effort was to "re-examine how we spend taxpayer dollars on foreign aid - as President @realDonaldTrump called for." He then thanked Rep. Wittman for "representing Republicans" in the "fight for the American people."

Pelosi tweeted that since efforts Thursday failed, the House will hold a vote on a stand alone bill on Monday. Her statement also called on the president to help pass the increase he is seeking.

"If the President is serious about the $2,000 direct payments, he must call on House Republicans to end their obstruction," her statement reads.

Thanks to extensions, the federal government is funded through Sunday night. However, if the funding bill with the COVID relief package included is not signed by the president before Sunday night, it could mean a government shutdown on Monday.

President and First Lady Trump are currently at their Mar-a-Lago resort for Christmas.