MAR A LAGO, Florida — President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump wishing all Americans a “Merry Christmas,” from Mar a Lago.
In a taped message, the First Family thanked frontline workers, teachers and others for their work during the pandemic.
The president also calling the vaccine developments a miracle fit for the holiday. “It is truly a Christmas miracle,” the President Trump said.
Many Americans are praying some COVID relief comes soon.
In the president’s hands is a government spending bill passed by Congress which includes $900 billion in COVID relief.
Though the president has indicated he won’t sign it as is.
In a video released earlier this week, he called for an increase in the amount of money given directly to the people and criticized the foreign aid included in the spending bill.
"I'm asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000 or $4000 for a couple. I'm also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation,” Trump said.
On Thursday, Republicans in the House blocked a measure made by Democrats, that would have increased those payments to $2000.
They countered by proposing to strip out part of the spending package that included foreign aid, but those talks fell flat.
Meanwhile the president doubled down on Christmas Day tweeting,
“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!”
Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 25, 2020
And if the president doesn’t sign off on the spending bill, millions of Americans could lose their expanded unemployment benefits that are set to expire right after the holidays.
“Surely the president of the united states, whether he is in Mar a Lago, or any place else ought to empathize with the pain and suffering and apprehension, deep angst that the American people are feeling,” House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland said.
House Democrats say they plan to hold a vote on a a standalone bill for increased direct payments on Monday.