On Sunday night, President Donald Trump finally signed the COVID relief bill. As outlined by my colleague Hannah Levintova, the bill extends unemployment benefits, averts a government shutdown, and includes a slew of aid for vaccine distribution.
Trump has criticized the bill since it passed Congress last week, calling it a “disgrace” and demanding Congress bump up the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000. But, after a wave of criticism today—and the lapse of unemployment benefits—he caved.
“It is insane. It is really insane,” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont had said on Sunday of Trump’s refusal to sign the bipartisan legislation. “I understand he wants to be remembered for advocating for big checks,” said Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, “but the danger is he’ll be remembered for chaos and misery and erratic behavior if he allows this to expire.”
The bill is not enough. But it will offer crucial money for those in need. Trump’s signature stops 14 million Americans from losing unemployment benefits, ensures a continued moratorium on evictions, and will bump more stimulus money into the economy. As I noted earlier today, that could be hugely beneficial for those who are suffering.