Days After Calling It ‘Disgrace’, Trump Signs US Covid-19 Relief Bill

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Washington- US President Donald Trump on Sunday (local time) signed the USD 2.3 trillion coronavirus relief package, days after he expressed displeasure with the spending outlined in the bill.

According to The Hill, Trump signed off the package from his golf club in the West Palm Beach.

“I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” Trump said in a statement upon signing the legislation.

“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,” he added.

The President had in past expressed dismay with the USD 2.3 trillion package that Congress passed Monday, which includes USD 900 billion in coronavirus relief and USD 1.4 trillion to fund the government until October, conflating the two bills and saying the spending goals were misguided.

The signing comes after unemployment benefits expired for millions of Americans on Saturday as the bill went unsigned.

Trump has visited his golf club in Florida each day since arriving in the state on Wednesday and has made no public appearances.

In the statement, Trump lauded himself for this work with Congress in the passing of CARES Act earlier this year, saying his action helped in preventing the great depression.

“Under my leadership, Project Warp Speed has been a tremendous success, my Administration and I developed a vaccine many years ahead of wildest expectations, and we are distributing these vaccines, and others soon coming, to millions of people,” he said.

The House will vote on Monday on legislation that would change the USD 600 in the coronavirus relief-government funding package to USD 2,000, an amount supported by Trump and Democratic leaders.

“Likewise, the House and Senate have agreed to focus strongly on the very substantial voter fraud which took place in the November 3 Presidential election. The Senate will start the process for a vote that increases checks to USD 2,000, repeals Section 230, and starts an investigation into voter fraud,” Trump said in his statement.

The House will vote on Monday on legislation that would change the USD 600 in the coronavirus relief-government funding package to USD 2,000, an amount supported by Trump and Democratic leaders.

According to The Hill, the bill includes special terms for restaurants and hotels to access larger loans from the Paycheck Protection Programme, a move praised by the National Restaurant Association.”

Trump Signs Tibet Bill To Pre-Empt Chinese Move In Dalai Lama Succession

Washington: 

US President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that calls for establishing a US consulate in Tibet and building an international coalition to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist community without China’s interference.

The Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 modifies and re-authorises various programmes and provisions related to Tibet.

Trump signed the act on Sunday as part of the massive USD 2.3 trillion package for the year-end bill to provide long-delayed coronavirus relief and fund the federal government.

The US Senate last week unanimously passed the bill despite China’s protest.

It authorises assistance to non-governmental organisations in support of Tibetan communities in Tibet; places restrictions on new Chinese consulates in the United States until a US consulate has been established in Lhasa, Tibet.

The law now authorises the Office of the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and expands the office’s duties to include additional tasks, such as pursuing international coalitions to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist faith community.

It also directs the Secretary of State not to open a new Chinese consulate in the US unless China allows the opening of an American consulate in Lhasa.

It is the policy of the US to take all appropriate measures to hold accountable senior officials of the Chinese Government or the Chinese Communist Party who directly interfere with the identification and installation of the future 15th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, the successor to the 14th Dalai Lama.

Beijing views the 14th Dalai Lama as a “separatist” working to split Tibet from China.

Some of the prominent measures approved by the US Congress include imposing sanctions on Chinese officials, including travel restrictions.

Noting that the 14th Dalai Lama advocates the Middle Way Approach, which seeks genuine autonomy for the six million Tibetans in Tibet, the new law says that the Dalai Lama has overseen a process of democratisation within the Tibetan polity and devolved his political responsibilities to the elected 23 representatives of the Tibetan people in exile in 2011.

The Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 approves USD 1 million per annum for the Special US Coordinator on Tibet, USD 675,000 towards scholarship provisions, USD 575,000 for scholar exchange initiatives, USD8 million for the Tibetan Autonomous Regio and Communities in China, USD 6 million for Tibetans living in India, USD3 million for Tibetan governance.

3CommentsExpressing concern over the exploitation of natural resources of Tibet, in particular water, the new law seeks to pursue collaborative efforts with Chinese and international scientific institutions, to monitor the environment on the Tibetan Plateau, including glacial retreat, temperature rise, and carbon levels, to promote a greater understanding of the effects on permafrost, the river flows, grasslands and desertification and the monsoon cycle.

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