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Omnibus spending, COVID package now goes to Trump, after failed Hill try to increase $600 payments

Trump wanted the direct payments to Americans to be as much as $2,000.

Updated: December 26, 2020 - 3:47pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late Thursday afternoon that Congress’ COVID relief and omnibus spending package has been sent to President Trump for his signature, after fellow chamber Democrats earlier in the day failed to increase direct payments in the virus relief bill to as much as $2,000.

“The bipartisan COVID relief & omnibus bill has been enrolled. The House & Senate are now sending this important legislation #ForThePeople to the White House for the President’s signature. We urge him to sign this bill into law to give immediate relief to hard-working families!” Pelosi tweeted. 

The bill is being sent to Mar-a-Lago, in Florida, where Trump is spending the holidays, according to multiple news reports.

Whether the president will sign the bill is unclear. 

Earlier this week, Congress passed the $1.4 trillion omnibus bill and the $900 billion COVID-19 relief measure, which included $600 direct payment to all eligible Americans. Trump called  the package a "disgrace," complaining about the aid in the spending bill that's going to foreign countries. And he urged Congress to increase the direct payments to $2,000.

On Thursday morning, House Democrats tried to increase the payments while basically keeping everything else in the bill as is. Republicans pushed back, emphasizing what House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said in a letter to his Republican colleagues on Wednesday -- Pelosi and the Democrats “appear to be suffering from selective hearing.”

“They have conveniently ignored the concerns expressed by the President, and shared by our constituents, that we ought to reexamine how our tax dollars are being spent overseas while so many of our neighbors at home are struggling to make ends meet,” he said. At the end of the day, neither side got their way. 

In other words, gridlock continues.