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Tags: Coronavirus | Donald Trump | congress | trump | covid | relief | omnibus

Report: Governors Angry at Congress, President for COVID Relief Stalemate

Report: Governors Angry at Congress, President for COVID Relief Stalemate
The U.S. Capitol on Dec. 24, 2020. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

By    |   Friday, 25 December 2020 05:55 PM

Governors from both major parties reportedly are frustrated and angry at Congress and President Donald Trump for failing to provide another coronavirus stimulus.

With many Americans in need of and expecting financial help, the states' chief executives know constituents are not happy that Congress and the president failed to coordinate a COVID relief bill.

"Honestly I've never been so disgusted with Congress," a chief of staff to one Democrat governor told The Hill. "We’ve been pulling our hair out for months. The federal government has not made a single step of the process of dealing with this pandemic easier. Not one single step."

Congress approved a $900 million coronavirus relief package, packaged with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, on Tuesday. Besides a one-time stimulus check of $600 for individuals, the relief bill included $300 weekly supplemental jobless benefits.

Within hours, President Trump called  the bill "a disgrace" and demanded that Congress  amend the legislation to increase the amount of stimulus checks for individuals to $2,000.

House Republicans quickly shot down the president's desire during a rare Christmas Eve session.

"The longer the president waits to sign [the bill], the longer it will take the Department of Labor to turn around guidance, the longer it will take us to get that new relief out,'' a top aide to one Republican governor told The Hill. "Think of all the businesses within a week or two of deciding to close that would hang on because of the extension of PPP. The effect of further delay there would be immediate."

If the president does not sign or veto the bill before the 117th Congress begins its session Jan. 3, the legislation would die. At the very least, waiting for the president's signature could create a gap between unemployment checks for Americans in need.

"Congress just continues to destroy any respect it may have been clinging to post-election," a top adviser to another Republican governor said. "POTUS will be gone in 27 days."

Officials spoke to The Hill anonymously as so not to upset both the Trump administration and Senate Republicans, who've said they will not consider new aid to state and local governments in future relief packages.

The pandemic has cost states millions, perhaps, billions of dollars in revenue. Plus, the earlier stimulus bills require state and local governments to spend down grants from the federal government by the end of the year.

"We all want some stability with our budgets and kind of the basics when it comes to small business assistance," said another chief of staff to a Democrat governor.

In March, the CARES Act resulted in $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals, $2,400 for married couples and $500 per child to help people cope with the pandemic.

The omnibus spending bill packaged with the current coronavirus relief bill funds the federal government. If the president vetoes or refuses to sign by Dec. 28, it would cause a government shutdown.

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Politics
Governors from both major parties reportedly are frustrated and angry at Congress and President Donald Trump for failing to provide another coronavirus stimulus....
congress, trump, covid, relief, omnibus
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2020-55-25
Friday, 25 December 2020 05:55 PM
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