• By The Financial District

TRUMP KILLS JOBLESS BENEFITS FOR MILLIONS BY NIXING AID BILL

Millions of Americans are about to see their jobless benefits expire as US President Donald Trump has so far refused to sign into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, insisting that it did not do enough to help everyday people, Steve Holland and Raphael Satter reported for Reuters.

Trump stunned Republicans and Democrats alike when he said this week he was unhappy with the massive bill, which provides $892 billion in badly needed coronavirus relief, including extending special unemployment benefits expiring on Dec. 26, and $1.4 trillion for normal government spending.


Without Trump’s signature, about 14 million people could lose those extra benefits, according to Labor Department data. A partial government shutdown will begin on Tuesday unless Congress can agree a stop-gap government funding bill before then.


After months of wrangling, Republicans and Democrats agreed to the package last weekend, with the support of the White House. Trump, who hands over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, did not object to terms of the deal before Congress voted it through on Monday night.


But since then he has complained that the bill gives too much money to special interests, cultural projects and foreign aid, while its one-time $600 stimulus checks to millions of struggling Americans were too small.


He has demanded that be raised to $2,000. His refusal to sign prompted sharp rebuke from Biden, who called on the outgoing Republican president to act immediately.


“This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences...This bill is critical. It needs to be signed into law now,” Biden, who is spending the holiday in his home state of Delaware, said in a statement.



WEEKLY FEATURE

JOSE MARI CHAN AND THE CHRISTMAS ANTHEM