Biden says Trump's 'abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences' as the president neglects to sign bipartisan stimulus

  • President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday said Trump’s ‘abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences’ as Trump neglects to sign the bipartisan stimulus package.
  • Trump has called for a direct relief payment of $2,000 to Americans, a significant increase from the $600 payment presently included in the existing legislation, but House Republicans blocked Democrats’ attempt to meet Trump’s demand.
  • As Insider previously reported, Trump could cost 14 million unemployed American workers a week of $300 in unemployment benefits should he not sign the bill.
  • The stimulus is also attached to the $1.4 trillion federal spending bill, meaning there will also be a lapse in federal government funding should the bill go unsigned.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday implored President Donald Trump to sign the bipartisan economic relief package passed by the House and Senate that he has so far refused to approve.

“It is the day after Christmas, and millions 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,” Biden said in a statement Saturday.

Trump has previously called for a direct relief payment of $2,000 to Americans, a significant increase from the $600 payment presently included in the existing legislation, passed by the House and Senate. But House Republicans blocked Democrats’ efforts this week to increase the payment following Trump’s demands.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously said she planned to bring lawmakers back to work Monday to vote on a standalone bill to authorize a $2,000 direct payment, NBC News reported. It’s not clear, however, if Trump plans to sign or veto the legislation as is.

The White House did not return Business Insider’s request for comment Saturday, though 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.'”

As Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported, Trump could cost 14 million unemployed American workers a week of $300 in unemployment benefits should he refuse to sign the bill by midnight Saturday. An eviction moratorium, extended through July by the unsigned legislation, will also expire at the end of the month should the president veto the bill or leave it unsigned.

Since the $900 billion stimulus relief is attached to the $1.4 trillion government spending bill, Trump must sign the bill by midnight Monday or risk a lapse in funding to the federal government, triggering a government shutdown.

Trump meanwhile on Saturday lashed out at the US Supreme Court for its refusal to intervene in the 2020 election, in which he has baselessly leveled allegations of widespread fraud and refused to concede since Biden emerged victorious in November. 

“This bill is critical,” Biden said Saturday. “It needs to be signed into law now. But it is also a first step and down payment on more action that we’ll need to take early in the new year to revive the economy and contain the pandemic — including meeting the dire need for funding to distribute and administer the vaccine and to increase our testing capacity.”

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