Trump’s refusal to sign the bipartisan package as he demands larger COVID relief checks and complains about “pork” spending could also force a federal government shutdown when money runs out at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday in the middle of a pandemic.
“It’s a chess game and we are pawns,” said Lanetris Haines, a self-employed single mother of three in South Bend, Indiana, who stands to lose her $129 weekly jobless benefit unless Trump signs the package into law or succeeds in his improbable quest for changes…
Lauren Bauer, a fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, has calculated that 11 million people would lose aid from the programs immediately without additional relief; millions more would exhaust other unemployment benefits within weeks.
Andrew Stettner, an unemployment insurance expert and senior fellow at the Century Foundation think tank, said the number may be closer to 14 million because joblessness has spiked since Thanksgiving.
“All these folks and their families will suffer if Trump doesn’t sign the damn bill,” Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, tweeted Wednesday.