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McConnell: Capitol mob ‘provoked’ by Trump and ‘other powerful people’

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Almost two weeks following the deadly Capitol riot, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that President Donald Trump and others “provoked” the violent mob.

“The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people,” McConnell said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

McConnell has mostly stood by throughout his presidency and his wife Elaine Chow served his administration as Transportation Secretary. Chao resigned after the riot.

The House of Representatives voted last week to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” and as the Senate prepares to begin his trial. On Tuesday, McConnell mentioned that the House still needs to formally send the article of impeachment to the Senate.

With Trump’s term in office expiring at noon on Wednesday, the same time that President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, Trump’s looming trial will be the first one for an ex-president. By the time the trial begins, however, McConnell will no longer be the majority leader and current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will have already assumed the role.

January 6 saw rioters violently storm the U.S. Capitol to prevent Congress from certifying the states’ Electoral College votes and Biden’s 2020 election win, resulting in five deaths.

RELATED: Prosecutors: ‘strong evidence’ shows Capitol rioters sought to ‘capture and assassinate’ officials

The riot happened after a rally in front of the White House opposing the certification, where President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and others made spoke . At the rally, the speakers alleged widespread fraud cost the President the election.

Rioters stormed the Capitol after the event and Trump later spoke to supporters, encouraging peaceful protests and denouncing violence.

RELATED: Joe Scarborough calls for arrests of Trump, Giuliani, Trump Jr. for insurrection in fiery speech

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Economy

NY Lawmakers want to tax tech giants to get $500M to fund unemployment benefits for illegal migrants

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New York lawmakers are debating over a proposed Democratic initiative that would pave the way for a multibillion-dollar fund designed to provide unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants. Spearheaded by state Senator Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat, the proposal has ignited passionate discussions within the Senate Finance Committee, where it currently awaits further deliberation.

The Center Square reports the proposal would utilize a $500 million trust fund earmarked specifically to offer jobless benefits for individuals who find themselves ineligible for traditional unemployment payments and other public assistance programs. To finance this ambitious endeavor, proponents of the plan are advocating for the imposition of a novel tax targeting tech behemoths like Google and Amazon. This tax, aimed at digital advertising revenue, is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain the fund.

Ramos has alluded to her belief that migrants are a fundamental contribution to the state’s economy. Despite their authorization to work, payment of taxes, and active involvement in the labor force, undocumented immigrants face a glaring disparity—they are excluded from accessing vital safety nets like unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.

In a social media post, Ramos cited the expiration of federal unemployment insurance for freelancers and the depletion of the Excluded Workers Fund. She argues vehemently for a safety net aligned with the evolving dynamics of the labor market, one that extends support to all workers, regardless of their immigration status.

The proposed fund, aptly named the Unemployment Bridge Program, outlines comprehensive eligibility criteria encompassing a spectrum of marginalized workers—from undocumented migrants to freelancers and individuals recently released from incarceration or immigrant detention. By establishing clear guidelines and procedures, the program endeavors to streamline the application process, ensuring equitable access to unemployment benefits for those in need.

The initiative comes in the wake of prolonged deliberations regarding jobless benefits for undocumented immigrants and nontraditional workers in New York. Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state previously allocated $2.1 billion to the Excluded Workers Fund, offering a lifeline to those excluded from conventional unemployment benefits.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 underscores a commitment to supporting asylum seekers, with significant allocations directed towards housing and legal assistance. The proposal has met with opposition from Republicans, who argue for prioritizing legal residents and taxpayers in the allocation of state resources. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt contends that limited resources should be reserved exclusively for those who have contributed to the state’s tax base.

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