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US President Donald Trump on Sunday signed into law a $2.3 trillion (£1.7 trillion) pandemic aid and spending package, officials said, restoring unemployment benefits to millions of Americans and averting a partial federal government shutdown.
Mr Trump, who leaves office on Jan. 20 after losing November's election, backed down from his threat to block the bill, which was approved Congress last week, after he came under intense pressure from lawmakers on both sides.
The Republican president, who golfed on Sunday and remained out of public view even as the potential government shutdown loomed, had demanded that Congress change the bill to increase the size of stimulus checks for struggling Americans to $2,000 from $600.
It was not immediately clear why Mr Trump changed his mind as his resistance to the massive legislative package promised a chaotic final stretch of his presidency.
White House officials have been tight-lipped about Trump's thinking but a source familiar with the situation said some advisers had urged him to relent because they did not see the point of refusing. "Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!" Trump said in a cryptic message on Twitter earlier on Sunday evening. But he offered no explanation.
Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2020
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