Trump Uses Impoundment Control Act to Demand Payments Increase to $2,000
President Donald Trump used the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 in a bid to increase the stimulus payment amount to $2,000 and remove “wasteful spending” from the relief bill.
Trump signed the relief bill, which was attached to an omnibus spending measure, on Sunday evening.
“As President of the United States, it is my responsibility to protect the people of our country from the economic devastation and hardship that was caused by the China Virus,” Trump said in a statement, referring to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19. “I understand that many small businesses have been forced to close as a result of harsh actions by Democrat-run states. Many people are back to work, but my job is not done until everyone is back to work.”
The president said he was not pleased with some of the spending measures included in the bill.
“As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child,” Trump added.
After signing the bill, Trump said he would invoke the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 in an attempt to boost the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000. The act allows the president to make demands to Congress, but it is ultimately up to Congress as to whether they will accept his demands and vote on the rescissions, and an administration—under the 1974 act—can only withhold or impound funds for up to a month and a half. According to the Constitution, the legislative branch is the entity that controls the federal funds.
“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill,” Trump added. “I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for [small business loans], return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more.”
The House is slated to vote on whether to include $2,000 stimulus payments on Monday, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Both Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have said they support the $2,000 stimulus payments, while Schumer wrote on Twitter that no Democrats in the Senate oppose the measure. Several high-profile Senate Republicans have voiced their opposition to stimulus payments in general.
Pelosi, in a statement Sunday, said Trump should push GOP members of Congress to support the enlarged stimulus payments.
“Every Republican vote against this bill is a vote to deny the financial hardship that families face and to deny the American people the relief they need,” Pelosi added.
About a week ago, Trump voiced his opposition to the stimulus bill, saying it contains a number of non-pandemic-related provisions such as foreign aid to various countries, funding to the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian buildings, and funding to combat the invasive Asian carp fish species in the United States.