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Pelosi considering banning unmasked, unvaccinated GOP Reps from House floor

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is mulling over a ban on unmasked and unvaccinated representatives from the House floor, she said in a press conference last week.

Pelosi was responding to a question about certain GOP reps refusing to wear masks on the floor after the Centers for Disease Control said vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks indoors.

The Representatives include Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia, and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

“We have to wait for them to be vaccinated because they are selfishly [an] endangerment to other people, including staff people here,” Pelosi said. “An honor system as to whether somebody’s been vaccinated? Do you want them breathing in your face on the strength of their honor?”

She said it is possible that these Republicans will be told to stay away.

“We could come to a place where we say, ‘If you don’t want to wear a mask and you don’t want to—if you’re not vaccinated, don’t even come to the floor. We have facilities up above in the gallery where people can come to vote,” she added.

The Epoch Times reported that masks must be worn except for when one is speaking.

“This is about science and governance,” Pelosi said. “We have to make sure that the House of Representatives chamber is not a petri dish because of the selfishness of some not to be vaccinated because it requires us to wear a mask.”

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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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