By Deighton Acuin

United States President-elect Joe Biden (PHOTO: News Week)

The United States may face "devastating consequences" if outgoing President Donald Trump continues to block the passage of coronavirus economic relief bill, President-Elect Joe Biden warned on Saturday.

Biden made the statement as millions of Americans saw jobless relief benefits expiration as Trump threw package into doubt — demanding legislators more than triple of a current $600 direct payments.

“This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences. Today, about 10 million Americans will lose unemployment insurance benefits,” Biden said.

The measure is wrapped up with a huge amount of $1.4 trillion, without signing, the government will be forced under shutdown on Monday midnight.

“In just a few days, government funding will expire, putting vital services and paychecks for military personnel at risk,” Biden said.

“In less than a week, a moratorium on evictions expires, putting millions at risk of being forced from their homes over the holidays," he added.

In a video released on Thursday night, Trump tagged the $900 billion bill a "disgrace" — despite bipartisan passage after months of negotiations.

The legislature is designed for throwing business lifeline to keep their heads above water.

However, in a video statement at The White House, Trump said he would decline to accept the measure without checks increases to $2,000.

“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill,” Trump reiterated Saturday on Twitter.

The move puts the Republican president at odds with his party’s Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who have ruled out any larger stimulus measures.

Republicans on Thursday blocked the Democrats' efforts to increase the payments to all taxpayers earning up to $75,000 a year, with smaller amounts for those earning up to $99,000.

“Delay means more small businesses won’t survive this dark winter because they lack access to the lifeline they need, and Americans face further delays in getting the direct payments they deserve as quickly as possible to help deal with the economic devastation caused by Covid-19,” Biden said.

It is unprecedented for a president to oppose a measure which received much bipartisan support.

But his veto of a defense bill, the NDAA assured lawmakers will return to Washington after Christmas to override the action.

And while Congress also would almost certainly override a presidential veto of the funding package, Trump could pull off a “pocket veto,” by simply refusing to sign the bill until the current Congressional term ends and the new session is installed January 3.

COVID-19 counts in the US are still dramatically increasing, with more than 330,000 succumbed individuals. Economic recovery has been faltered due to pandemic despite vaccination roll-outs hoping for the end of infectious disease's devastation by 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE: Philippine Daily Inquirer