Trump golfs in Florida as COVID relief hangs in the balance

PALM BEACH (AP) — After tossing a grenade that threatens to blow up a massive COVID relief and government funding bill and force a government shutdown in the midst of a pandemic, President Donald Trump spent his Christmas Eve golfing in Florida.

Failure to agree on the bill could deny checks to millions of Americans on the brink.

Trump had no events on his public schedule on the first day of his winter vacation Thursday, but traveled to his Palm Beach golf club, where he was spotted by CNN cameras on the links. Reporters were given no details of his schedule for the day, but told that, “As the Holiday season approaches, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls.”

Trump’s departure came as Washington was still reeling over his surprise, eleventh-hour demand that an end-of-year spending bill that congressional leaders spent months negotiating give most Americans $2,000 COVID relief checks — far more than the $600 members of his own party had agreed to. The idea was swiftly rejected by House Republicans during a rare Christmas Eve session, leaving the proposal in limbo.

The bipartisan compromise had been considered a done

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