WASHINGTON — Is the COVID-19 relief package in trouble? President Donald Trump blasted the long-awaited economic stimulus deal by calling it a "disgrace."
In a video posted to Twitter, the president claimed billions of dollars in the package will go to foreign countries and museums, after hinting that he might not sign the current relief package.
Does the COVID-19 economic relief package include money for foreign countries and unrelated domestic spending?
No, the economic relief package is part of a larger government funding bill.
What We Found:
The president has the financial numbers right when it comes to spending for foreign governments and domestic budgets unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he has conflated the COVID-19 economic relief package with the government’s omnibus spending bill.
That bill known as the Consolidated Appropriations act of 2021, is what congress passed this week. It costs roughly $2.3 trillion.
Here’s how it breaks down: $1.4 trillion will fund the government for the next year. That includes budgets for domestic and foreign spending. Then Congress added $900 billion for COVID-19 economic relief.
In other words, Congress used one Legislative Act to pass two pieces of funding legislation.
While the president is right about the government spending, he is wrong to say the COVID-19 relief money is going to foreign governments and domestic budgets. It’s just part of a larger spending bill.
The speculation online, and even in Congress, is that the president’s video is a sign he will veto the omnibus spending bill, that includes COVID-19 relief in it. He has not officially said he would or would not do that.