Trump expected to sign COVID-19 relief package, funding bill Tuesday

The White House in Washington, D.C., is seen at dusk on December 17. President Donald Trump is expected Tuesday to sign the coronavirus relief bill and federal spending measure to keep the government operating until next October. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Dec. 22 (UPI) — President Donald Trump has signed a seven-day stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown through Christmas, as Congress approved a $900 billion pandemic relief package he will sign on Tuesday.

Trump signed the stopgap on Monday night, which will ensure that government departments and agencies will stay open until the he can sign the $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill and the attached COVID-19 relief package, which passed both houses of Congress late Monday.

The stopgap keeps the government funded through Dec. 28.

Trump is expected to sign the coronavirus relief bill on Tuesday, which includes aid for small businesses, enhanced unemployment payments and another round of direct stimulus payments to most Americans.

The White House said Trump will sign the bills when they reach his desk.

Monday night was the third time Trump had to sign a temporary stopgap measure to prevent a federal shutdown. He signed a one-day measure on Sunday to cover Monday. Federal funding from the last spending bill ran out on Friday.

Despite Congress signing the larger package Monday, the stopgap measure was needed to cover the logistics of Trump’s signing the spending bill, which at nearly 5,600 pages is one of the largest pieces of legislation ever passed.

The computer digital files with the cumbersome bill was also slowed because of a computer glitch that slowed the process further on Monday.

The new omnibus spending bill will keep the federal government operating until at least October.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday that the first stimulus payments, in the amount of $600 per person and $600 for dependents, should begin arriving in accounts next week.


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