Trump takes credit for Covid stimulus payments included in Congress relief bill

<p>Donald Trump</a> has taken credit for a coronavirus stimulus bill agreed by Congress.</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump has taken credit for a coronavirus stimulus bill agreed by Congress.

(AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump has taken credit for a coronavirus stimulus bill agreed by Congress, which comes after nine months of deadlock.

On Sunday, congressional leaders announced an agreement on the bill had been reached. Both chambers are due to vote on the much-needed stimulus package on Monday.

The US president, who quoted Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade in a Twitter post, suggested he was behind the stimulus, which includes a direct $600 (£450) payment to Americans.

”The President was responsible for those direct payments to Americans in the Covid-19 Relief Bill,” Mr Trump wrote, quoting Mr Kilmeade’s remarks on Fox and Friends.

While the president will sign the $900 billion (£676 billion) pandemic stimulus bill after it passes Congress, the package was drawn-up by congressional leaders on both sides, and not Mr Trump.

“At long last, we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed,” Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday.

Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, said although she welcomed the agreement, “we need to do more”.

It will send temporary $300 (£225) per week supplemental unemployment payments to millions, as well as a $600 (£450) direct stimulus payment to most Americans, according to the Associated Press.

There are also subsidies to hard-hit businesses and money for schools, healthcare providers and renters facing eviction.

The package included a $1.4 trillion (£1 trillion) funding plan for the government, among other unrelated measures on taxes, health, infrastructure and education.

President-elect Biden praised congressional leaders’ bipartisan agreement, and said the proposals were “a model for the challenging work ahead for our nation”, in a statement on Sunday.

Democrats suggested there would be more stimulus bills passed to help Americans once Mr Biden becomes president next month.

Republicans and the US president had mostly disagreed with Democrat demands for larger stimulus payments over several months of failed negotiations, until the latest effort, which has been slammed by progressives as falling short of what is needed to help those who are struggling.

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