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McConnell says he’ll support stimulus deal if it’s backed by Trump

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gave the slightest glimmer of hope on Tuesday that a coronavirus economic stimulus package will see the light, saying that he would allow for a deal to be voted on in the Senate if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Donald Trump reach an agreement.

“If a presidentially supported bill clears the House at some point, we’ll bring it to the floor,” McConnell stated at a press conference.

(Watch the full press conference here.)

Negotiations for a second coronavirus relief bill have been stalled since the summer, with Democrats and Republicans playing ping-pong with each other on policy specifics and its price tag. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been hashing out this new package deal. The initial relief bill was passed back in the spring.

Whether or not this potential stimulus package will receive a vote before November 3 is uncertain, with McConnell not setting anything in stone. Asked if Senate Republicans would support a bill in the range of $1.8 to $2.2 trillion, McConnell said: “We’d have to see what it was first.”

Casting further uncertainty about a potential deal, other Senate Republicans declined to automatically endorse a potential $1.8 trillion bill and doubted that one of that size could be passed.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Tuesday said: “I think it’s very unlikely that a number of that level would make it through the Senate, and I don’t support something of that level.”

The second-highest-ranked Senate Republican, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), believes that it’ll be challenging to convince enough GOP senators to vote for a bill with that price tag.

“My guess is the leader is going to want to see some evidence that whatever is agreed upon has Republican support to try to convince Republicans over here to be for it,” Thune said.

“Their natural instinct, depending on how big it is and what’s in it, is probably going to be to be against it,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Senate will vote on a separate $500 billion GOP-sponsored COVID-19 relief bill. Additionally, the Senate is set to vote Thursday on whether to confirm of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Economy

Illegal migrants refuse to leave Denver encampments, make demands of city including ‘fresh, culturally appropriate’ food and free lawyers

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A group of illegal immigrants in Denver is not only refusing to leave encampments, but also have the audacity to take no actions until the city meets its demands. The migrants were organized enough to publish a document with 13 specific demands before they “acquiesce to Denver Human Services’ request to leave the encampments and move to more permanent shelters funded by the city” reports Fox News.

Demands were made following the Denver government obtaining a petition to have the migrants moved, according to the outlet. The Denver mayor has been under pressure from the city’s ongoing migrant crisis, making headlines and receiving stiff backlash earlier this year for proposing budget cuts to the city’s government, including cuts to the city’s police force, to fund more money for dealing with the city’s migrant crisis.

The list of demands was sent to Mayor Mike Johnston and included requests for provisions of “fresh, culturally appropriate” food, no time limits on showers and free immigration lawyers, the outlet reported. Further details of the demands read, “Migrants will cook their own food with fresh, culturally appropriate ingredients provided by the City instead of premade meals – rice, chicken, flour, oil, butter, tomatoes, onions, etc… Shower access will be available without time limits & can be accessed whenever… Medical professional visits will happen regularly & referrals/connections for specialty care will be made as needed.”

The migrants also insisted they get “connection to employment support, including work permit applications for those who qualify,” as well as “Consultations for each person/family with a free immigration lawyer.” The migrants insisted that if these are not met, they will not leave their tent community.

“At the end of the day, what we do not want is families on the streets of Denver,” Jon Ewing, a spokesman for Denver Human Services, told Fox 31.

The current encampment is situated “near train tracks and under a bridge,” Fox 31 noted, adding that it has been there for the last couple of weeks.

Ewing told Fox 31 the city just wants “to get families to leave that camp and come inside,” noting its offer will give migrants “three square meals a day” and the freedom to cook.

He also said the government is willing to work with people to compromise and help them figure out what kind of assistance they qualify for.

Ultimately, Ewing said, the city wants to work with migrants to determine, “What might be something that is a feasible path for you to success that is not staying on the streets of Denver?”

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