Republicans and Democrats shoot down Trump’s proposed changes to Covid relief bill

Republicans and Democrats shoot down Trump’s proposed changes to Covid relief bill

Both parties in Congress shot down President Donald Trump’s proposed changes to a massive Covid relief bill, with the GOP blocking higher stimulus checks and Democrats fighting to keep the bill stuffed with foreign aid.

President Trump has promised to veto a $2.3 trillion spending package that allocates $900 billion for coronavirus relief, and $1.4 trillion in other government spending. After Trump ordered Congress to increase direct aid to Americans from $600 to $2,000 and cut out a slew of cash bonuses for foreign countries, lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but failed to get the bill amended.

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US President Donald Trump displays his veto in response to the congressional rebuke on border emergency at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, March 15, 2019.
Billions in foreign aid & racehorse tax breaks: Trump urged to veto Covid-19 relief bill over under-the-radar provisions

House Republicans shot down a bid by Democrats to increase stimulus checks to $2,000 per person. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to pass this measure by unanimous consent, meaning just one objection was needed to kill it off.

House Democrats in turn blocked a Republican effort to trim the amount of foreign aid included in the package.

With a quick fix off the table, Pelosi said that the House will now hold a recorded vote on increasing the stimulus checks on Monday. Should the vote fail and Trump refuse to sign the existing bill, a partial government shutdown would then begin on Tuesday. Monday’s session will be a busy one, as lawmakers will also debate whether to override Trump’s veto of an annual defense spending bill, which passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof majority support this month. 

Trump, however, has said he will only sign the bill if Congress removes some partisan amendments, and includes a measure repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social media companies from legal action over content posted on their platforms.

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