Trump signs COVID-19 relief bill, calls on Congress to remove 'wasteful items'

President Trump on Sunday signed into law the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill and $1.4 trillion omnibus spending legislation that were packaged together and passed with bipartisan, bicameral support in Congress last week.

It was unclear whether Trump would sign the package before a looming government shutdown on Tuesday. He had expressed his displeasure with the relief bill primarily because it included just $600 stimulus checks rather than the $2,000 he preferred, but he had also complained about elements of the spending bill like foreign aid. In his statement announcing the signing, Trump called for Congress to remove what he described as "wasteful items." He added that the House will vote on $2,000 checks Monday, while the Senate will begin the process of setting up a vote on the issue.

The president's opposition appeared to blindside lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well his own negotiating team led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and it looked like he might veto the bill, or simply sit on it, but after reportedly changing his mind repeatedly over the last few days he relented.

Democratic and some Republican lawmakers agreed the direct payments should be heftier, but many still criticized Trump for holding off, since it put other measures like enhanced unemployment benefits and eviction moratoriums in jeopardy. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), for example, said Sunday that Trump should quickly approve the bill and let Congress work on increasing the individual payments separately this week. Read more at The Associated Press and The Washington Post.

More stories from
Report: Forensic accounting specialists hired to assist N.Y. prosecutor in Trump probe
Is Roger Stone the unlikely herald of a new religious right?
$2,000 checks are good