İrem UZUN -TDO- Millions of Americans lost their unemployment benefits on Sunday as President Donald Trump refused to sign a $900 billion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill passed by both chambers of Congress. The unsigned bill provides aid for businesses and individuals struggling amid the pandemic and earmarks money for vaccine distribution and education.
The bill includes the payment of $600 to Americans earning less than $75,000 a year. Trump says he wants to give people bigger one-off payments and wants Americans to receive $2,000, but Republicans in Congress refused to agree to the change. In a tweet late on Saturday evening local time, Trump again defended his position on the issue, blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak. Fourteen million Americans will lose unemployment benefits, according to Labor Department data.
In a strongly worded statement published on Saturday, president-elect Joe Biden described Trump's refusal to sign the bill as an "abdication of responsibility". "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. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called Trump’s veto “an act of staggering recklessness that harms our troops.”