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U.S. House approves $2,000 coronavirus aid checks sought by Trump

Novel Coronavirus 2020-12-29 121 0

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Reference:CGTN | Updated:28 DEC 2020

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives voted 275-134 to meet President Donald Trump's demand for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks on Monday, sending the measure on to an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Senate. 

The Republican president last week threatened to block a massive pandemic aid and spending package if Congress did not boost stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 and cut other spending. He backed down from his demands on Sunday as a possible government shutdown loomed, brought on by the fight with lawmakers. 

A total of 130 Republicans, two independents and two Democrats opposed the increase on Monday, which required two-thirds of those present and voting to pass it. 

Trump, who lost November's election to Democratic challenger Joe Biden but has refused to concede defeat, finally signed the $2.3 trillion package into law after holding it up with a veiled veto threat. But he continued demanding $2,000 checks. 

The $2.3 trillion includes $1.4 trillion in spending to fund government agencies and $892 billion in COVID-19 relief. 

The Senate is due to convene on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday made no mention of Senate plans for a vote, after welcoming Trump's signing of the relief bill. 

The coronavirus pandemic has killed nearly 330,000 people in the United States and led to widespread economic hardship, with millions of families relying on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 relief funds. 

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