LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Unemployment benefits for millions of Americans expired overnight as a result of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign the relief bill passed by Congress.
Trump rejected the massive COVID relief and government funding bill despite Congress approving the measures, and the White House negotiating it. On Saturday, Trump tweeted:
“I simply want to get our people $2,000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the millions of dollars in “pork.” Trump has no Republican support for this change, and is in line with Democrats on the issue who have been pushing to increase direct payments to those requiring jobless benefits.
As a result, and without the President’s approval, no one will receive direct payments and hundreds of thousands of Californians will be among those who will lose their unemployment benefits.
This weekend, President-elect Joe Biden said a delay in passing government relief would have devastating consequences. Support groups across the country have been overwhelmed.
“We are regularly hearing from people who have no food at home,” said Drake Hagner of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. “The safest thing to do is to continue to file. And if you’re blocked from filing, take a picture of that pop-up message as proof that you tried to file.”
Part of the unsigned bill would reopen the paycheck protection program (PPP) to assist businesses, such as restaurants, to continue to pay their workers.