WASHINGTON D.C., Dec. 27, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has joined a bipartisan group in urging President Donald Trump to sign a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill as unemployment benefits expired over the weekend and the government faces a shutdown on Monday.
Romney (R-UT) joined Joe Manchin (D-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5) and Tom Reed (R-NY-23) in urging Trump to sign the relief package.
A joint statement from the group reads: “Mr. President, we are asking you to please sign the emergency relief bill. This act will show your support for the American people who are in need of emergency lifelines like food, shelter, unemployment benefits and small business relief during these challenging times.
“However, if your objection to the COVID-19 relief bill will prevent you from signing, please veto it immediately. You’ve made your position clear and rejecting it quickly will allow those in favor to act before it is too late.
“Never before in your personal, professional, or political life have you been characterized as a man of inaction. Now is not the time to sit idly by — please do the right thing and sign or veto this bill immediately.”
Trump shocked lawmakers by panning the relief bill and calling for direct payments to Americans to be increased from $600 to $2,000, UPI reported. Members of Congress are also urging the president to sign a $1.4 trillion omnibus bill to fund the government through September.
The stimulus and funding bills are tied together and while Trump has not threatened to veto the measures, the government will shut down at midnight on Monday if the bill is not signed.
In addition, if Trump does not sign the stimulus legislation before a new Congress arrives on Jan. 3, the bill will expire, forcing lawmakers to negotiate another package.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would seek a roll-call vote on the proposal to increase the payments Monday.
On Saturday, Trump posted on Twitter to “increase payments to the people, get rid of the ‘pork,” and included his video message from Tuesday expressing his dissatisfaction with the legislation.
The bills have been sent to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., where the president arrived on Wednesday.