Possible Delay In Covid Relief Bill Could Impact Floridians Waiting on Help

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President Donald Trump made remarks Tuesday night about the COVID-19 relief package recently approved by Congress. He called the package a “disgrace” and asked Congress to make amendments.

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 (direct payment) to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said in a video released on Twitter.

But what does this mean for Floridians waiting on relief?

“What this does is make a more chaotic situation much worse,” said Telemundo 51 political analyst Mike Hernandez.

It is still unclear if the president will veto the bill, but Hernandez points out a veto would not only delay much needed relief but it could also lead to a government shutdown.

“Issuing a veiled threat to veto the legislation, what he is basically saying is I don’t care if the government shuts down on December 28 and I don’t care if you have spent months negotiating for what is admittedly a small stimulus, I want what I want,” Hernandez said.

The legislation passed by Congress included two bills that were combined. One was the spending bill to fund the government through September and the other included COVID-19 relief, including $600 direct payments, extended federal unemployment benefits and an extension of the CDC eviction moratorium until the end of January.

“Americans are hurting. They are hurting because of the pandemic. They are hurting because many of them may not be able to avoid being evicted at the end of the month, may not have the bump in unemployment benefits to just survive,” Hernandez said.

Patrice Paldino with Coast to Coast Legal Aid works with people facing eviction.

“I think people are really confused. I think people are really scared,” Paldino said.

She says the uncertainty of whether relief like the eviction moratorium will be extended is having its impact on some South Floridians.

“They just don’t know and I think that is the unfair part about it, that month by month, week by week, they are living in this uncertainty and how do you plan, how do you protect your family when you just don’t know what tools you have at your disposal,” Paldino said.

If President Trump vetoes the COVID-19 relief package, lawmakers might be able to override it.

House Democrats have announced they will bring a separate bill forward Thursday that would provide $2,000 direct payments. The bill would need to pass by unanimous consent.

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