Trump still pushing for $2,000 stimulus checks as COVID relief bill hangs in the balance, blasts GOP deal as ‘measly’

Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News

Trump spent the morning after Christmas tweeting conspiracies about the election he lost and calling for $2,000 stimulus checks that his own allies rejected.

But he remained silent about the emergency unemployment benefits for millions that are set to expire Saturday unless he signs the massive $900 billion stimulus package.

If the president doesn’t sign a separate end-of-year spending bill before Monday, the government could also completely shut down.

Trump says he is holding out to triple the COVID stimulus payments to $2,000, denouncing the $600 his own administration negotiated with Republican leaders as “measly.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Trump was more determined than ever to hold out for the bigger checks after playing golf with the outgoing president.

Graham claimed he backed the increase in payments too, though he and Republican senators were the ones who refused for months to allow a more expensive package.

Trump’s allies and rivals alike admit they have no idea what the mercurial man in the White House may do about the stimulus and year-end spending plans in the coming hours and days.

Aides shipped the thousand-plus page bills to Trump’s oceanfront Palm Beach resort in case he does an about-face and decides to sign it.

Despite attacking the bills, Trump has not specifically promised to veto them either.

Congress will return on Monday to override Trump’s veto of a must-pass defense spending bill, which Trump trashed because it didn’t include an unrelated provision that would get rid of liability protections for social media companies.