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Trump demands bigger stimulus checks in Covid relief bill

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a medal ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, December 3, 2020.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Donald Trump, in a stunning Tuesday night tweet, called the $900 billion Covid relief bill passed by Congress an unsuitable “disgrace” and urged lawmakers to make a number of changes to the measure, including bigger direct payments to individuals and families.

Trump also suggested that his administration might be the “next administration,” despite his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

The president’s tweet, which included a video of him discussing what he considers the bill’s many flaws, came less than 24 hours after the Senate passed the measure.

Trump did not threaten a veto in the video, and he had been expected to sign the legislation into law, along with a $1.4 trillion spending bill to keep the government open.

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in the video.

Spokespeople for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

He also said that if Congress doesn’t deliver the relief package he wants, it will be left to the next administration.

“And maybe that administration will be me, and we will get it done,” he said.

Trump lost to Biden in November’s election. Still, the president has continued to falsely insist that he actually won the election, and that he was the victim of widespread voter fraud. Several judges have rejected Trump’s and Trump allies’ efforts in court to overturn Biden’s victory.

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