GOP blocks $2,000 checks as Trump leaves COVID aid in chaos

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s last-minute demand for $2,000 checks for most Americans has thrown the year-end COVID relief into chaos. House Republicans on Thursday swiftly rejected the demand. The rare Christmas Eve session of the House lasted just minutes, with help for millions of Americans awaiting Trump’s signature on the bill. Unemployment benefits, eviction protections and other aid including smaller $600 payments are at risk. The $900 billion virus aid package is linked to a $1.4 trillion government funds bill. That means Trump’s refusal to sign the legislation could spark a federal shutdown at midnight Monday. The House will return Monday to vote on options.