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Democrats Refuse to Eliminate Millions in Foreign Aid from Stimulus Plan

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Legislators met at 9 a.m. (14.00 GMT) this Thursday, Christmas Eve, and tried unsuccessfully to approve unanimously a change to the bill that passed through both chambers on Monday.

Following Trump’s request to increase direct aid to U.S. taxpayers and eliminate millions in foreign aid, Democrats agreed to increase direct payments from $600 to $2,000, as requested by the president, but wanted to keep the millions in aid to third countries, which involved more spending.

Trump and the Democrats agree to increase direct payments to individuals with incomes under $75,000 a year, but Congressional Republicans oppose it without an adjustment in public spending.

The bailout is part of a larger federal spending package, known as omnibus, totaling $2.3 trillion, of which $1.4 trillion is to fund the Administration through September 2021.

Democrats have used this spending proposal to include measures that have nothing to do with the U.S. economy, such as giving millions of dollars to Pakistan to promote “democracy and gender programs,” an issue on which Trump has expressed unease.

Republicans tried today to reduce the amount of foreign aid included in the bill, but their attempts were blocked by Democrats.

It is unclear what the next steps will be for the President and lawmakers of both parties after their proposals to modify the stimulus plan failed today.

If Trump doesn’t sign the spending bill by Monday night, the Administration will run out of funds and will be partially paralyzed as of Tuesday the 29th, something that hasn’t happened in two years.

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