President Trump on Tuesday night threatened to veto a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill adopted by the U.S. House and Senate, calling it an unfocused "disgrace," loaded with foreign aid and unrelated expenses that go far beyond a narrow focus on relief for pandemic-related pain.
"It's called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID," Trump said at the White House in a video Tuesday night.
Trump said the bill "contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia, $134 million dollars to Burma, $1.3 billion for Egypt, and the Egyptian military--which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan," and other items Trump deemed non-essential for COVID-19 relief.
According to Trump, the bill also allows stimulus checks for the family members of illegal aliens, allowing them to get up to $1,800 each.
"This is far more than the Americans are given," Trump said. "Despite all of this wasteful spending, and much more, the $900 billion package provides hardworking taxpayers with only $600 each in relief payments and not enough money is given to small businesses, and in particular, restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously."
Trump said he was asking Congress to amend this bill and increase what he called "the ridiculously low" amount of $600 for an individual making under $75,000 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple.
"I'm also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package," Trump said. "And maybe that administration will be me."