Five days after calling the pandemic stimulus bill a "disgrace" President Donald Trump signed the $2.3 trillion COVID relief and federal spending package - averting a partial government shutdown, Fox Business and other news outlets reported Monday.
Trump initially refused to approve the legislation saying he wanted to give people more one-time financial aid. The setback meant millions of Americans temporarily lost jobless claims.
Trump said it was his "responsibility to protect the people of our country from economic devastation and hardship" brought about by the coronavirus.
"As president, I've told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child," The Guardian quoted Trump as saying.
In a statement, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said the president's "tantrum" resulted in a lapse in jobless benefits and cost millions of unemployed Americans a week's worth of income.
In a tweet, Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) accused Trump of having "played Russian roulette" with American lives - a familiar and comfortable place for him."
According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), the compromise legislation was "not perfect" but will do a big amount of good for struggling Americans who need help. "I thank the president for signing this relief into law," he said.
Some 14 million Americans faced a delay in unemployment benefit compensation and new stimulus checks. Jobless claims will now be restored.
The bill was approved with what legislators had thought was the president's "blessing" in his final days in office and following months of negotiations with his administration.
Trump leaves the White House Jan. 20 after losing to Joe Biden in the November election. He refuses to admit defeat.