Speed Reads

coronavirus crisis

Biden calls Trump's refusal to sign relief bill an 'abdication of responsibility'

President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday released a statement criticizing President Trump for refusing to sign the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress earlier this week.

Biden warned "this abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences," noting that millions of Americans will lose enhanced unemployment benefits (which are set to expire Saturday), small businesses will go longer without federal aid, and eviction moratoriums will end next week unless Trump decides to sign the bill.

It's unclear whether Trump will relent, though he continued to criticize the package because it designates just $600 for stimulus checks for individuals. Democratic lawmakers seem to be on board with his call to push that figure up to $2,000 per person, but the GOP appears hesitant. Biden didn't address stimulus checks specifically in his latest statement, but he said that while Trump signing the current bill is "critical," it's a "first step and down payment on more action that we'll need to take" after he steps into the Oval Office.