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Pelosi, Schumer To GOP: ‘Quit the political posturing’ on COVID Economic Relief

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer sent a joint letter Monday to Republicans urging them “to quit the political posturing by proposing bills they know will not pass either chamber and get serious and work with us towards a solution.”

Further, the two Democratic party leaders argued that the Republican lawmakers need to focus on giving small businesses, families, and workers additional funding.

“While the Trump Administration struggles to figure out how to distribute the funds provided for in the CARES Act, it’s clear that those appropriated amounts will not be enough to cover the tremendous need,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote.

They added, “Further changes must also be made to the SBA’s assistance initiative, as many eligible small businesses continue to be excluded from the Paycheck Protection Program by big banks with significant lending capacity. Funding for Covid-19 SBA disaster loans and grants must be significantly increased to satisfy the hundreds of billions in oversubscribed demand.”

Schumer and Pelosi emphasized the need to expand SNAP nutrition assistance to Americans struggling to put food on the table. Moreover, the Democrats requested that the next spending package include additional funding for expanded coronavirus testing and for Personal Protective Equipment for medical workers on the frontlines of the epidemic.

“The collection and publication of demographic data are also desperately needed, so that we can accurately determine the level of impact on under-served communities and communities of color and direct needed resources to them immediately,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote.

The two parties reached an impasse Thursday over their disagreements on funding priorities. In a joint letter Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the Democratic leadership for blocking additional funding for the Payment Protection Program that “may be depleted in just a few days.”

“Republicans did not ask to change any of the policy details that were negotiated by both parties and passed unanimously. All we want to do is put more money into a popular job-saving policy which both parties designed together.” the Republican leaders wrote, “Yesterday, Senate Democrats blocked this funding because Republicans would not open a sweeping renegotiation of the bipartisan CARES Act. Their unrelated demands included hundreds of billions of extra dollars for parts of the legislation which are still coming online and have not yet spent a single dollar.”

They added, “Speaker Pelosi said yesterday she was aware of ‘no data as to why we need’ more funding for Americans’ paychecks. Anyone paying attention knows differently. The Administration reports the PPP has already burned through nearly half of its initial funding in just its first week. Yesterday, we learned that a staggering 10% of the entire American workforce has filed for unemployment in less than a month. This morning, we learned that small-business layoffs spiked by 1,000% last month alone.”

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Nation

White House Confirms It Is Looking Into Shutting Down Oil Pipeline Amid Fuel Crisis

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Gas Pipeline

The Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan despite the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked about the report during Monday’s press briefing, asking, “why is the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan?”

“So, Peter, that is inaccurate,” Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed. “That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate. … So, again, I would — it is inaccurate what you just stated, but —”

“What’s inaccurate?” Doocy asked.

“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I didn’t say ‘wanting.’  I said, is it being studied right now?  Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?”

“Yeah. Yes, we are. We are,” Jean-Pierre admitted.

 

The news comes as gas prices have reached their highest since 2014, when Biden was vice president, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.

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