Trump hurts Americans fighting by delaying Covid bill, says GOP congressman

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GOP rep. Tom Reed told CNBC on Thursday that the president Donald Trump‘s last minute resistance to the coronavirus relief package approved by Congress earlier this week, harms struggling Americans.

$ 900 billion bill, paired with a government funding measure, was passed by veto-proof majority in both the House and Senate. But on Tuesday night, Trump attacked the package as a “disgrace” and demanded several changes, including making direct payments of $ 2,000 instead of $ 600.

“When you raise these issues at the last minute like this, it’s very worrying,” Reed continued “Squawk Box” before his fellow Republicans blocked a move to raise direct payments to $ 2,000. “I understand the president’s frustration … but blind sides and doing this at the last second is not conducive to me because the American people are the losers in this fight.”

Trump has not said whether he will formally veto the bill or instead not sign it. If he follows the latter path, the bill would die, and no action could be taken on a relief package until the new congressional session on January 3rd.

The $ 900 billion package would extend a pandemic-era expansion of unemployment benefits before they expire Saturday. The provision covers 12 million people. The government could also close on Monday if the $ 1.4 trillion legislation in the legislation is not signed by then.

Trump’s criticism of the bill has partly focused on spending on foreign aid, which was included in the larger public finance department.

Reed, a New York Republican who co-chairs the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, said he recognizes Trump’s concern about foreign aid. He said, however, that they should not be distracted from the need to provide financial assistance to Americans who have been hurt by the pandemic.

“The people we traded those $ 900 billion with are waiting for this relief,” Reed said. “There are people being hired on Monday because they are waiting for the payroll protection program. Tens of thousands of people are going back to work. I ask the President: Think of these people.”

Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Is expected to propose a new bill on temporary spending that will separate the Department of State and foreign aid funding from the larger spending package. Democrats would likely oppose this plan.

“What we need to do is focus on where we agree – $ 900 billion in emergency aid … needs to go out to the people today. We all agree on that. We worked on it. We found common ground,” Reed said. “The idea of ​​increasing control, we may be able to deal with it later.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Reeds co-chair of Problem Solvers Caucus, agreed. The New Jersey Democrat said he supports the idea of ​​greater stimulus control, but does not want any delay in the current deal.

“We worked so hard to bring this package together and get Democrats and Republicans on board,” Gottheimer said similarly. “Squawk Box” interview. “We should get this piece of legislation signed, and then we should add more to it … but it does not make sense to blow it all up and hurt people and undermine all the subdivisions in this legislation that are so critical.”

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.



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