Coronavirus and Your Money

Trump Wants $2,000 Stimulus Checks; Threatens to Sink Stimulus Bill

President Trump asks Congress to send him an amended bill with larger stimulus checks and without "wasteful and unnecessary" provisions.

Late Monday night, Congress passed a $900 billion COVID relief and government spending bill that, among other things, would provide a second round of stimulus checks ($600 base amount), $300-per-week unemployment benefits, renewed funding for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans, money for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, extended tax breaks, and much more. However, less than 24 hours after Congress approved the 5,593-page bill, President Trump threatened to withhold his signature unless the legislation is amended.

In a video Tweet released Tuesday evening, Trump called the bill a "disgrace" and told Congress to send him a "suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package." The president asked for amendments that would increase the second-round stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, provide more relief for small businesses (especially restaurants), and "get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items" in the bill. "Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it," Trump said.

Regarding the stimulus checks, Trump specifically noted that "family members of illegal aliens" would be eligible for the direct payments. Up to $1,800 each, according to the president.  "This is far more than the Americans are given," he added. "Despite all of this wasteful spending, and much more, the $900 billion package provides hardworking taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments."

To help the restaurant industry, the president also called for a longer deduction for business meal expenses. The stimulus bill temporarily bumps the deduction up from 50% to 100% for two years. "Two years is not acceptable; it's not enough," Trump said.

As for the waste and unnecessary provisions, which are mainly in the bill's government spending provisions, Trump listed a number of items in the bill that he said have "almost nothing to do with COVID," such as foreign aid, money for museums and cultural arts centers, fish and wildlife research, and FBI construction projects.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded with support for the $2,000 stimulus check idea. "At last, the President has agreed to $2,000," she said in a Tweet. "Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let's do it!"

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer chimed in as well. He tweeted, "Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we're glad to pass more aid Americans need." Later, he attempted to put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the spot with another tweet saying, "I'm in. Whaddya say, Mitch?" As of early Wednesday morning, McConnell has not responded.

If President Trump does not sign the bill, it will trigger a government shutdown next week.

(Stay on Top of All the New Stimulus Bill Developments – Sign Up for the Kiplinger Today E-Newsletter. It's FREE!)

Most Popular

Are You Still Chasing the Almighty Dollar, Even Though You Have Plenty to Retire?
retirement

Are You Still Chasing the Almighty Dollar, Even Though You Have Plenty to Retire?

In our experience, many have saved enough money to retire comfortably. Yet too many worry about their money running out and want more. Maybe it’s tim…
May 6, 2021
Child Tax Credit 2021: Who Gets $3,600? Will I Get Monthly Payments? And Other FAQs
Coronavirus and Your Money

Child Tax Credit 2021: Who Gets $3,600? Will I Get Monthly Payments? And Other FAQs

People have lots of questions about the new $3,000 or $3,600 child tax credit and the advance payments that the IRS will send to most families in 2021…
May 4, 2021
20 Dividend Stocks to Fund 20 Years of Retirement
dividend stocks

20 Dividend Stocks to Fund 20 Years of Retirement

Each of these high-quality dividend stocks yields roughly 4%, and you can expect them to grow their payouts even more. That's a powerful 1-2 combo for…
May 7, 2021

Recommended

7 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Tax Breaks

7 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

Since this year's tax deadline was pushed back to May 17, many people are just now filing their tax return. That means there are a lot of tax refunds …
May 8, 2021
IRS Extends Tax Deadlines for Alabama and Kentucky Storm Victims
Tax Breaks

IRS Extends Tax Deadlines for Alabama and Kentucky Storm Victims

Following FEMA's recent disaster declarations for severe storms in Alabama and Kentucky, victims of the storms in those states get more time to file a…
May 7, 2021
9 Reasons to File a Tax Return Even If You Don't Have To (Hint: They're Due Soon!)
tax filing

9 Reasons to File a Tax Return Even If You Don't Have To (Hint: They're Due Soon!)

Although you might not be required to file a tax return, it might be wise to file one anyway. Here are a few reasons why.
May 7, 2021
10 States With the Highest Sales Taxes
Tax Breaks

10 States With the Highest Sales Taxes

Before you embark on a shopping spree in any of the 10 worst states for sales taxes, make extra room in your budget.
May 6, 2021