Trump Leaves for Mar-a-Lago

He's left the stimulus bill in limbo
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2020 5:33 PM CST
Trump Leaves for Mar-a-Lago
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – President Trump has left the White House, leaving confusion in Washington behind him. The president and first lady Melania Trump departed for Mar-a-Lago Wednesday afternoon and they are expected to remain at the Florida resort until the new year, Fox reports. A Federal Aviation Administration alert restricts airspace over Mar-a-Lago until Jan. 1. The president's departure leaves lawmakers in limbo over his objection to a COVID relief and government funding bill that his own administration helped shape, Politico reports. In a video released Tuesday night, Trump blindsided aides and lawmakers by calling for "ridiculously low" $600 stimulus checks to be increased to $2,000.

Trump, who has 27 days left in office, has not said he will veto the package—as he did with a defense bill Wednesday—but the next steps are now unclear, and government funding is set to run out on Dec. 29, the Hill reports. Nancy Pelosi has called for a unanimous consent request to pass a bill for $2,000 checks Wednesday, though Republicans, who consider the move a stunt, are unlikely to reply. "Mr. President, sign the bill to keep government open!" Pelosi tweeted Wednesday. "Urge McConnell and McCarthy to agree with the Democratic unanimous consent request for $2,000 direct payments! This can be done by noon on Christmas Eve!" Sources tell the AP that until Trump departed Wednesday, aides were unsure whether he would cancel the Florida trip. (Michael Cohen thinks Trump might not return to the White House after the holidays.)

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