US President, Donald Trump, has signed into law a coronavirus relief and spending package bill, averting a partial government shutdown that would have started had he not signed it by Sunday midnight.
Trump previously refused to sign the bill, criticising “wasteful spending” and calling for higher payouts to people hit by the pandemic.
The delay meant that millions temporarily lost unemployment benefits.
The relief package worth $900bn (£665bn) was approved by Congress after months of negotiation.
It is part of a $2.3tn spending package that includes $1.4tn for normal federal government spending.
The bill includes a payment of $600 to Americans earning less than $75,000 a year.
Trump said he was signing the bill with “a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed”.
Republican and Democratic Party lawmakers had been pleading with the president to sign it before a budget deadline of midnight on Monday.
If he had not, some government agencies would have had to close, unless legislators could pass a stopgap bill.
US President-elect Joe Biden had warned of “devastating consequences” if Trump continued to refuse to sign.
Biden described Trump’s refusal to sign the bill as an “abdication of responsibility“, stressing;
It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority.
Trump leaves office on January 20 after losing November’s election to Biden, although he has refused to admit defeat.
About 14 million Americans faced a lapse in unemployment benefit payments and new stimulus cheques. Unemployment benefits will now be restored.
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