Washington (IP) - US lawmakers blocked attempts to alter a $2.3 trillion coronavirus aid and government spending package, rejecting President Donald Trump’s demand for extensive changes and leaving benefits for millions of Americans at risk.

Iran PressAmerica: Democrats in the House of Representatives sought to increase direct payments to Americans included in the bill from $600 to $2,000 per person as part of a coronavirus economic relief initiative, acting on one of Trump’s requests. Trump’s fellow Republicans, who oppose the higher amount, blocked that effort, Reuters reported.

Republicans sought to change the amount of foreign aid included in the package, seeking to address another one of Trump’s complaints. Democrats blocked that request.

The flurry of activity on the House floor did nothing to break a standoff that threatens desperately needed assistance for millions of Americans and raises the prospect of a partial government shutdown at a time when officials are trying to distribute vaccines in a country where nearly 320,000 people have died from COVID-19.

Embittered by his loss to Democrat Joe Biden, Trump in a shocking move on Tuesday pressed Congress to dramatically alter the coronavirus and government-spending package, which passed by wide, bipartisan margins on Monday.

A bipartisan group of Senate and House members on Thursday urged Trump to back down and sign the legislation. The lawmakers were instrumental in getting negotiations moving forward a few weeks ago when they proposed $908 billion in coronavirus aid, slightly above the level Congress finally settled upon.

According to the latest statistics in the US, the number of COVID daily infections has surged past 193,000 in the last 24 hours and the total cases of COVID-19 have exceeded 19 million there.


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