By CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in 27 days.
Here is how the transition is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Dec 24, 1:04 pm
Trump fundraising off his opposition to COVID-19 relief bill
As Trump threatens to deprive millions of Americans of much-needed financial assistance, he on Wednesday sent an email trying to raise money for himself — touting his opposition to the bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill.
Trump falsely said he had “sent the Covid Relief Bill BACK to Congress,” which is impossible since, as of this morning, Congress had yet to send the bill to the White House.
The president hasn’t explicitly said whether he would veto the bill, and Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill — not to mention millions of Americans across the country — are holding out hope he’ll sign it as soon as possible.
Trump also falsely wrote, as he said in his Tuesday night video message, that “This bill contains HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars to be sent to foreign countries.” In fact, Trump is conflating the government spending bill — which contains that aid (which Trump himself had previously requested) — and the COVID-19 relief bill, which were merged into one for expediency.
“Please contribute $5 IMMEDIATELY to publicly stand with me and to send a message to Congress that the American People deserve better,” Trump wrote.
Dec 24, 11:24 am
Trump golfs after leaving millions of Americans in limbo
Trump is spending Thursday morning golfing.
He arrived at Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach after leaving millions of Americans in the lurch with his opposition to the bipartisan COVID-19 spending bill and the risk of a government shutdown early next week.
Twelve million people may potentially lose pandemic-era unemployment benefits if they’re allowed to expire Saturday, and millions across the country face eviction as a federal moratorium expires at the end of the year.
In a nod to the optics of Trump’s activities today, Wednesday night the White House appended an unusual message onto an otherwise empty schedule:
“As the Holiday season approaches,” the schedule read, “President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls.”
Dec 24, 10:26 am
House Democrats’ request for $2,000 checks for Americans is blocked
House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer was on the House floor Thursday morning to request unanimous consent on a bill that would send $2,000 in stimulus checks to the American people after Trump called on Congress to amend a newly passed coronavirus relief bill to increase direct payments to $2,000.
Trump indicated in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday that he would not sign the $900 billion relief package passed by both chambers of Congress on Monday. The package provides $600 in direct payments for adults making up to $75,000 per year and children, with $2,400 for a family of four.
The unanimous consent vote attempted to call Trump’s bluff and force Republicans to go on the record for their opposition to increasing direct payments from $600 to $2,000.
After Hoyer made the unanimous consent request, he was notified by the chair that his request did not have clearance from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and so his request was denied.
Separately, a GOP request to rollback US aid to foreign countries was also denied on the floor because the bill did not have clearance from Democrats.
Just after the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the House will hold a recorded vote on the floor on Monday on a standalone bill on the $2,000 checks, which will put Republicans officially on the record.
This Christmas Eve morning, House Republicans cruelly deprived the American people of the $2,000 checks Trump agreed to support. On Monday, the House will hold a vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 24, 2020
On Monday, the House will also hold its veto override vote on the defense policy bill.
Government funding expires Monday night at midnight if Trump does not sign the spending bill and the COVID-19 relief bill.
“Hopefully by then the President will have already signed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation to keep the government open and to deliver coronavirus relief,” Pelosi said in the statement.
Dec 24, 10:01 am
Fair Fight files suit against organization challenging voter eligibility
On Wednesday, the voting rights organization started by Stacey Abrams, Fair Fight, filed a lawsuit against an organization named True the Vote that has been mass challenging voters’ eligibility in at least half of Georgia’s 159 counties.
According to the lawsuit, True the Vote “is responsible for coordinating efforts to challenge over 364,000 Georgians’ eligibility to vote and recruiting Georgians to engage in its ‘ballot security’ operation in Georgia in advance of the state’s January Senate Runoff.”
The 30-page federal lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Gainesville Division, is asking the Court to:
- Declare the defendants violated the Voting Rights Act
- Enjoin the defendants and those working with them from submitting voter challenges in Georgia, contacting voters to try to confirm their eligibility, participate in poll-watching/election observing activities and training, and photographing and video recording voters or election workers at the polls
- Force defendants to withdraw pending voter challenges
- Order organization to cease operations in Georgia
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