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COVID-19

Trump criticizes COVID relief bill, demands changes

David Brancaccio and Nancy Marshall-Genzer Dec 23, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Trump assailed the bipartisan $900 billion package in a video he tweeted Tuesday night. Al Drago/Getty Images
COVID-19

Trump criticizes COVID relief bill, demands changes

David Brancaccio and Nancy Marshall-Genzer Dec 23, 2020
Trump assailed the bipartisan $900 billion package in a video he tweeted Tuesday night. Al Drago/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

President Donald Trump released a video Tuesday evening saying the $900 billion COVID relief bill passed by Congress is a “disgrace,” needs to be reconfigured and that $600 per person in direct payments is not enough.

Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall-Genzer has more on this from Washington. The following is an edited transcript of her conversation with “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio.

David Brancaccio: Nancy, will this delay the relief checks?

Nancy Marshall-Genzer: Possibly. Now, Trump did not specifically threaten to veto the COVID relief bill. If he were to sign it after all, the checks could go out very soon. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier this week that the money would land in Americans’ bank accounts as soon as next week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted Tuesday night that Democrats could vote this week on a bill that would increase the relief payments to $2,000. That vote could come Thursday. But then the Senate would have to approve it unanimously, which is unlikely.

Brancaccio:And what happens if Trump vetoes the bill?

Marshall-Genzer: Both the House and Senate approved the COVID relief package by veto-proof majorities — Congress can override a president’s veto with a two-thirds majority in each chamber. But those votes would have to be scheduled, and many members of Congress have already gone home for the holidays.

Brancaccio: So, realistically, if the president doesn’t sign this bill right away, people won’t see those checks for a while?

Marshall-Genzer: Right. And even if President Trump does nothing — if he doesn’t veto it, but also doesn’t sign it — it still takes 10 days for the bill to become law without his signature.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?

The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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