US President Donald Trump has finally signed into law a coronavirus relief and spending package bill, averting a partial government shutdown.
It was not immediately clear why Trump who is in Florida finally decided to sign the bill into law, but said he was signing the bill with “a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed”.
It would be recalled that the relief package worth $900bn (£665bn) was approved by Congress after months of negotiation but Trump declined signing saying he wanted to give people bigger one-off payments.
The bill is part of a $2.3tn spending package that includes $1.4tn for normal federal government spending.
Nonetheless, had Trump who before now was under growing pressure from both sides of Congressnot signed the bill into law by midnight on Monday, a partial government shutdown would have begun unless legislators passed a stopgap bill.
The delay had meant that millions of Americans would have temporarily lost unemployment benefits. Already, about 14 million Americans faced imminent lapse in unemployment benefit payments and new stimulus cheques. But as a result of this development, unemployment benefits will now be restored.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he was “relieved” that the legislation had at last become law.