In a statement, Biden warned about the possible impact that not signing the bill may have.
“[M]illions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority,” he said, adding: “This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences.”
The president-elect mentioned that 10 million Americans will be put at a greater risk following federal unemployment insurance benefits expiring on Saturday. Biden also warned about government funding expiring, which in turn puts military paychecks and other services at risk, as well as the moratorium on evictions to lapse. He also spoke about the negative economic impact that delaying stimulus checks would have on small businesses and their owners.
“[W]hile there is hope with the vaccines, we need funding to be able to distribute and administer them to millions of Americans, including frontline health care workers,” he said.
The president-elect called on Trump to sign the bill into effect immediately, saying that it was a first step to further action in 2021 that will “revive the economy and contain the pandemic.”
Biden commended the bipartisan support that the bill received in Congress and said that Trump should take a page out of their book to help the American people.
“I was heartened to see members of Congress heed that message, reach across the aisle, and work together. President Trump should join them, and make sure millions of Americans can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads in this holiday season,” he said.
As previously reported, Trump had called the COVID relief bill that was passed by Congress a “disgrace.” On Thursday, Republicans voted against increasing the relief money to be distributed to Americans from $600 to $2,000, and Democrats blocked Republicans voting to cut $1.4 trillion in foreign spending.
On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted: “I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in “pork.””
Newsweek reached out to the Biden transition team and the White House for further comment.