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Trump continues to block pandemic relief package as shutdown looms

The president indicated he may veto the 5,000-page bill that he calls a ‘disgrace’ which would extend benefits to Americans

As unemployment benefits were due to expire for millions of Americans on Saturday, Donald Trump, who spent Christmas playing golf in Florida, continued to block a $900bn pandemic relief bill that would extend them.

The package, which Congress passed with bipartisan support on Monday after months of negotiations, would keep unemployment benefits in place until March and expand state benefits by $300 a week – as well as extending an evictions moratorium, providing federal loans to small businesses and $600 direct payments to many Americans.

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