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Coronavirus

Federal lawmakers, including Congressman Ruiz, say COVID Relief bill is ‘insufficient’

President Donald Trump told lawmakers to amend the latest COVID-19 relief bill, 24 hours after congress passed it.

Trump called the covid relief bill a 'disgrace,' in a video posted on his Twitter Tuesday night. He added that the bill delivered too much money to foreign countries, but not enough to Americans.

Read: Trump tells lawmakers to amend COVID-19 relief bill, suggests he may not sign it

The measure comes at a crucial time for the economy as federal unemployment benefits are about to run out.

If President Trump signs the current $900 billion "Pandemic Relief Package," Americans would see a $600 bump to their bank accounts as soon as next week.

It wasn't just President Trump that had concerns about the bill. Many Democrats, including Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz, wanted the package to be bigger saying the relief is "insufficient."

News Channel 3's Peter Daut joined a video news conference featuring Ruiz and Southern California Congressmen Ted Lieu, Scott Peters, and Mike Levin Tuesday morning, just hours after Congress passed the bill. The Congressmen said that while the $900-billion package is better than nothing, it does not go far enough.

"This legislation falls well short of what our country needs," Ruiz said.

Under the legislation, $600 stimulus checks will be sent to people who make less than $75,000 a year. They'll also get $600 for each of their dependents. It also includes $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits for the next 10 weeks.

A top priority for Democrats that did not make it into the bill was aid for state and local governments.

"Unless we provide that aid, that means firefighters, police, teachers are all going to face tough times and potentially layoffs," said Rep. Scott Peter (D-52 district).

In May, House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion package and then passed a version of that measure in October that was reduced to $2.2 trillion.

Before the election, Democrats rejected an offer from the Trump Administration for a $1.8 trillion package.

Congressional Republicans, many of whom wanted to keep the price tag under $1 trillion, argue the bill reflects their position.

"We're agreeing to be smart about financing these extraordinary policies," said Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

But lawmakers on both sides, including Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have blasted the bill's short time-frame, arguing they did not have enough time to fully read its more than five-thousand pages.

News Channel 3's Peter Daut asked Ruiz about her comments.

"For COVID-relief, we had the sense of urgency from the American people that we needed to pass a bill," Ruiz said.

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Peter Daut

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