Trump-Biden transition latest: Trump signs coronavirus relief bill amid pressure

The president had gone nearly a week without signing the bill.

President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in 24 days.


Trump signs coronavirus relief bill


After days of opposition and hours before the federal government was going to shut down, President Donald Trump signed the $900 billion coronavirus relief package, the White House announced Sunday night.

Congress passed the legislation last Monday after months of negotiations in the Senate. The package includes $600 checks for Americans who earn less than $75,000 per year, half of the $1,200 checks that were mailed out earlier this year.

After its passage, Trump initially called for the bill to be revised to include $2,000 checks and refused to sign it until his call was answered. However, he didn’t officially say he would veto it.

In the statement, Trump referred to COVID-19 as “China Virus,” blamed Democrat-run states for shutdowns and continued to make baseless claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election. He also said “wasteful items need to be removed” from the bill and continued to push for the $2,000 checks.

Democratic leaders in both houses backed the $2,000 check plan, but the GOP leadership rejected it. In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell applauded Trump for signing the package and preventing a shutdown “at a time when our nation could not have afforded one.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the relief bill is a “down payment on what is needed to crush the virus.” She said House Democrats will bring legislation on the $2,000 checks to the House floor Monday.

-ABC News’ Ivan Pereira


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'You can't diddle around': Sanders, despite misgivings, urges Trump to sign coronavirus relief bill


Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the leading advocates for government-issued direct payments to Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic, argued Sunday that despite his -- and President Donald Trump's last-minute -- reservations about the size of the checks within the currently stalled relief bill, it needs to be signed immediately.

"My view is that, given the terrible economic crisis facing this country, yes, we do need to get $2,000 out to every working-class individual in this country, $500 for their kids -- but you can't diddle around with the bill," Sanders, I-Vt., told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on "This Week" Sunday.

Though the relief package, as passed last week by Congress, contains checks for $1,400 less than the senator -- and later, Trump -- lobbied for, Sanders proposed an alternative solution in a directive to the White House.

"Sign the bill, Mr. President, and then immediately -- Monday, Tuesday -- we can pass a $2,000 direct payment for the working families of this country," Sanders said.



-ABC News' Adam Kelsey



'Millions of people are going to suffer' if COVID-19 relief is not signed: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan


Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on criticized President Donald Trump for not raising his objections to the bipartisan, $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill until after Congress passed it.

"Here we are, you know, after all this work went on," Hogan told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on "This Week" Sunday. "Both parties were so far apart in the House and the Senate. The problem solvers caucus, some -- some really bipartisan folks on both sides of the aisle brought everybody to the table. They reached an agreement."

"Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin worked together with them and made commitments on behalf of the administration, and then -- not eight months before or even eight days before but after it was passed -- then the president raises these objections? Millions of people are going to suffer," he added.



-ABC News' Adia Robinson