The future US President Joe Biden has warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the outgoing incumbent Donald Trump should continue to block a billion-dollar corona aid package from Congress. After Trump had refused to sign the package of around 900 billion dollars (740 billion euros) and demanded an increase in the direct payment to citizens, Biden accused him of “irresponsibility” on Saturday.
As a result of Trump's blockade, around ten million US citizens have lost their unemployment benefits, the future president said. The Corona aid package is linked to a new budget law. If the budget does not come into force, there is a threat of a shutdown from Monday at midnight (local time), a shutdown of federal authorities. Among other things, the wages for the military are in danger, warned Biden. In addition, a measure that protects tenants from eviction in connection with the corona pandemic expires in a few days.
The new aid program is intended to complement previous measures against the economic and social consequences of the pandemic. The US Congress had already launched a gigantic economic program in March. With a volume of 2.2 trillion dollars, it was the largest aid package in US history. The funds were then topped up in April with another aid program.
Trump reiterates resistance
Trump reiterated his opposition to the parliamentary budget decision on Saturday. Trump wrote in the short message service Twitter that he wanted the “great citizens” to each receive a special payment of $ 2,000. The bipartisan law only provides for a “measly” sum of $ 600.
Trump's veto can be overruled by Congress with a two-thirds majority. It is almost unprecedented in the US for a president to veto a law that had been passed by an overwhelming majority in both chambers of parliament. Last Wednesday, Trump also vetoed the defense budget approved by Congress.
Biden warned that the outgoing president's opposition to budget decisions meant “small businesses will not survive this harsh winter”. Citizens are dependent on payments “as soon as possible” in order to cope with the devastating effects of the Corona crisis, said the politician of the Democratic Party.
The United States is the hardest hit country in the world by the corona pandemic. More than 18.9 million people have been infected with the Sars-Cov-2 pathogen since the beginning of the pandemic, and more than 331,900 people have died in connection with the coronavirus.