Trump will spend the holiday at his golf club resort Mar-a-Lago.
The president sent shockwaves throughout Washington Tuesday night when he pushed out a Twitter video of himself blasting the omnibus package. House and Senate leaders reached agreement on coronavirus relief after months of being at an impasse.
The president has five days to sign the bill or the government will shut down.
He demanded lawmakers amend the coronavirus stimulus package they passed Monday to include $2,000 checks for individuals instead of $600 checks. He also insisted that “wasteful and unnecessary” items be cut from the year-end spending package that was attached to the pandemic aid.
The omnibus funding package, valued at $1.3 trillion was combined with the coronavirus stimulus bill, $900 billion, as Congress raced to get out of Washington for Christmas. The funding package previously was negotiated in Congress, as lawmakers finally came to an agreement on coronavirus aid over the weekend. Combining the two allowed it to be done in one vote.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in his Twitter video. “I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a package, and maybe that administration will be me.”
Trump added: “For example, among the more than 5,000 pages in this bill, which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity — it’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”
Trump has not issued a direct veto threat and still could sign the bill if lawmakers and their staffs don’t come back — although it is not clear if they will or not, according to congressional sources. He also could utilize a rare “pocket veto,” holding on to the legislation and refusing to act on it.
That would force Congress to essentially start the legislative process all over. It would put the government at risk of a shutdown yet again, as it is currently operating on a seven-day interim spending bill.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was quiet on his next steps after the president condemned the package. Democrats, meanwhile, basked in the president’s call for greater stimulus funding. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-N.Y., said her chamber will try to pass a bill for $2,000 stimulus checks by unanimous consent, meaning if one member opposes the bill it fails.
By forcing a voice vote, Democrats goad Republicans to go against President Trump’s wishes for larger checks.
A Federal Aviation Administration alert restricts airspace over Mar-a-Lago resort until Jan. 1.