(The following is a transcript of President Trump’s remarks concerning the COVID Relief Bill which was passed earlier this week. Lede photo: screenshot from YouTube)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — “Throughout the summer Democrats cruelly blocked COVID relief legislation in an effort to advance their extreme left wing agenda and influence the election. Then, a few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people.
“It’s taken forever.
“However, the bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated.
“It really is a disgrace.
“For example, among the more than 5000 pages in this bill — which nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity — it’s called the COVID relief bill. But it has almost nothing to do with COVID. This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia. $134 million to Burma. $1.3 billion for Egypt, and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment. $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan. $505 million dollars to Belize Costa Rica El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. $40 million for the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, which is not even open for business. $1 billion for the Smithsonian, and an additional $154 million for the National Gallery of Art.
“Likewise, these facilities are essentially not open.
“Seven million dollars for reef fish management. $25 million to combat Asian carp. $2.5 million to count the number of amber jack fish in the Gulf of Mexico. A provision to promote the breeding of fish in federal hatcheries. $3 million in poultry production technology. $2 million to research the impact of downed trees. $566 million for construction projects at the FBI.
“The bill also allows stimulus checks for the family members of illegal aliens, allowing them to get up to $1,800 each. This is far more than the Americans are given.
“Despite all of this wasteful spending, and much more, the $900 billion package provides hard working taxpayers, with only $600 each in relief payments, and not enough money is given to small businesses. And in particular, restaurants, whose owners have suffered so grievously. They were only given a deduction for others to use in business — their restaurant — for two years.
“This two year period must be withdrawn, which will allow the owners to obtain financing and get their restaurants back in condition. Congress could terminate it at a much later date. But two years is not acceptable — it’s not enough. Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault — it was China’s fault — not their fault.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple. I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation, and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package. And maybe that administration will be me. And we will get it done.
“Thank you very much.”
Baltimore Post-Examiner is run by a creative cadre of dedicated journalists – some who worked at the Washington Post, Baltimore Examiner and other regional and national publications. It’s the Post-Examiner because we love the play on the word “Post” but we are also hoping to answer that question: What’s next after newspapers? We see a lot of websites come and go – and many simply are not making it for various reasons. We have been a model of success since we launched in 2012 with “a little bit of everything” and we aim to continue to break that cycle of websites coming and going.