Democrat President-elect Joe Biden has issued a statement calling on President Donald Trump to sign the Defence Authorisation bill, which contains funding for coronavirus relief measures. He slammed POTUS for refusing to sign the bill, arguing that Trump has left American citizens and businesses without another round of financial aid and protections on the eve of the holidays.
"This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences. Today, about 10 million Americans will lose unemployment insurance benefits. In just a few days, government funding will expire, putting vital services and paychecks for military personnel at risk. In less than a week, a moratorium on evictions expires, putting millions at risk of being forced from their homes over the holidays", Biden stated.
The president-elect called the bill "critical" and said the country needs it signed "now". Biden further argued that the $740 billion defence bill should be merely the first step in government relief efforts, promising to take more action to "revive the economy and contain the pandemic" at the beginning of next year, when he assumes office.
In a statement, President-elect Biden stresses the urgent need for President Trump to sign the Covid-19 economic relief bill so millions won't lose unemployment benefits & to stop a government shutdown.— Amanda Golden (@amandawgolden) December 26, 2020
“This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences,” he says pic.twitter.com/QL0qgd6Y9p
Trump refuses to Sign 'Disgrace' of a Bill
POTUS previously announced that he will not be signing the latest Defence Authorisation Bill into law after it received bipartisan support in both chambers of the US congress. Trump called the bill a "disgrace" for having small relief payments as well as "a gift to China, Russia and Big Tech".
He specifically ripped the absence of a measure to void Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), which, he argued, would allow foreign governments to spread disinformation online. Section 230 protects online platforms from liability for the content that their users post on them.
Trump also criticised the law for enabling the renaming of US military bases and the destruction of American monuments over accusations of promoting slavery or racism. The measure was included in the bill in the wake of anti-racism demonstrations and riots that rocked the US in the summer in the wake of the murder of African-American George Floyd in police custody. In the ensuing unrest, several monuments, purportedly linked to slavery and racial discrimination, were destroyed, damaged or removed, and calls were made to rename some of the American military bases named after Confederate generals.