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Bob Mason
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US Economy

The Pandemic Aid and Spending Bill

Taking a break from teeing it up in Florida, outgoing U.S President Trump signed the Pandemic and Spending Bill on Sunday.

Continuing jobless claims sat at 5,337k going into the holidays.  For millions, Tump’s signing of the bill ensures a continued lifeline amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The $2.3bn pandemic and spending package includes $1.4tn to fund federal agencies, thus avoiding a government shutdown.

His refusal in signing the package could have removed any hope of another run for office in 4-years. Failing to sign the package could have also handed the control of the Senate to the Democrats. On 5th January, 2 runoff elections are due to take place in Georgia that will decide the fate of the Senate.

Trump had pushed for a reallocation of funds by demanding stimulus payments of $2,000 rather than just $600 to individuals. For many, however, something is better than nothing.

Late last week, U.S lawmakers announced that they refuse to agree to Trump’s demands, leaving the bill unsigned.

With the U.S President’s days now numbered, he had also vetoed the Defence Bill. Lawmakers are due to take a break from their holidays today and tomorrow in a bid to override Trump’s veto.

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The Trump Legacy

An override would bring to an end a chaotic 4-years in spite of which saw the U.S equity markets strike record highs.

The COVID-19 pandemic and more than 340,000 related deaths will likely be an unwanted legacy for the President, however.

According to the latest figure, the U.S has recorded 19,573,847 COVID-19 cases, accounting for close to a quarter of the world’s 81,142,113 total number of cases.

Amidst the pandemic, U.S unemployment rate hit an unprecedented high of 14.7% before easing back to 6.7% in November. The surge came amidst an economic meltdown, where the U.S economy contracted by an incredible 31.4%.

In a bid to make America great again, Trump laid claim to the Dow, S&P500, and the NASDAQ’s record highs late this year.

He did, however, attribute his loss in the Presidential Election to voter fraud rather than his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Few supported his view of voter fraud, however, with the courts going against the U.S President.

Joe Biden

For the President-Elect, delivering an economic recovery with the support of a sizeable stimulus package is among the many tasks that lay ahead.

Bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, while creating jobs will likely be far more relevant for the electorate than a continued rise in the U.S equity markets.

The good news for the Democrats is that Biden enters the Oval Office amidst political and economic chaos. It’s a low bar that U.S President Trump has left for Biden. Biden would have to have a disastrous 1st hundred days to fall out of favor with voters…

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