President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Dr Jill Biden offered holiday greetings from Delaware with the future First Lady saying, “Many families are facing their first Christmas having lost a loved one. And Joe and I know that sorrow.” “And we know how, in times of grief, a kind word can mean so much,” she said.

Biden, whose victory Trump still refuses to acknowledge nearly two months after the November 3 election, is spending the day at his Delaware home and has no public events, according to his staff.

President Donald Trump will spend Christmas Day at his Palm Beach resort as millions of Americans face the risk of losing jobless benefits on Saturday and a partial government shutdown looms next week, following his threat to not sign a USD 2.3 trillion coronavirus aid and spending package.

Meanwhile, the US Congress, which normally is adjourned the last week of December, will be preparing to return to work.

On Monday, following the Christmas weekend, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on overriding Trump’s veto of a USD 740 billion bill authorizing the country’s defense programs. If the House vote succeeds, the Senate could hold its vote as early as Tuesday.

The fight over the spending and aid package comes as Americans face an unprecedented holiday season, amid a pandemic that is killing people in record numbers. Nearly 320,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 this year and the daily death toll is repeatedly well over 3,000, the highest since the pandemic began.

On Christmas Eve, Trump played golf at his course in West Palm Beach, Florida, and tweeted a series of grievances repeating his baseless claims about the election result, including one aimed at Senate Republicans, whom he accuses of abandoning him because many now publicly recognize Biden as the winner.

Trump stunned members of both parties when he unexpectedly announced this week his dislike of the USD 2.3 trillion spending bill, a package that had taken the House and Senate months to negotiate. The bill provides USD 892 billion in coronavirus relief, and USD 1.4 trillion in regular government appropriations.

Without his signature on the coronavirus aid bill, about 14 million people will lose unemployment benefits on Saturday, and a partial government shutdown will begin on Tuesday.

It is unclear if Trump will ultimately sign the USD 2.3 trillion bill. Trump could also choose to take advantage of a situation known as a “pocket veto,” rather than outright vetoing the coronavirus aid package.

Because the current Congress expires on Jan. 3, Trump could let the normal 10-day period that a president has to sign or veto a bill simply run out. Bills die if they are not enacted during the Congress in which they are introduced.

If he does issue a veto, the House and Senate could try and override it next week. Congress might also have to pass a stopgap spending bill on Monday, before money that funds government operations expires at midnight.

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