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Trump rejects Dems’ COVID-19 stimulus plan, delays talks until after election

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Pelosi and trump

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he is rejecting the Democrats’ $2.2-trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus plan and that he is delaying negotiations until after the election, claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was “not negotiating in good faith.”

In the spring, Congress passed an initial $2.2-trillion package but, for months, the next COVID-19 economic stimulus package has been stalled, due to both sides of the aisle not budging on an array of issues, most notably the package’s price tag. The GOP wanted a $1.6-trillion plan.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1313551794623127552

In the four-tweet thread, the President rejected the Democrats’ plan and said that he has directed his “representatives to stop negotiating until after the election,” adding, “immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business.

“I have asked […] Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett,” Trump continued.

Further clarifying his reasoning for halting the stimulus talks, Trump accused Pelosi of wanting $2.4 trillion “to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States,” and that the money “is in no way related to COVID-19.”

This follows the Democrats in the House of Representatives passing the relief package last week that included provisions which would allow certain undocumented immigrants who are “engaged in essential critical infrastructure labor or services in the United States” and would be put into “a period of deferred action” and authorized to work if they meet specific criteria.

With less than 30 days until Election Day and two GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee quarantining due to contracting COVID-19, President Trump looks to be refocusing his campaign strategy. Moreover, his positive diagnosis for the novel Coronavirus last Thursday means he’s not been as active as he has been on the campaign trail. Still, Republicans are chugging full steam ahead to ensure that Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court before the election, which has been a top priority for the President.

While the economy has been recovering over the past few months as many states and localities slowly reopen, 12.6 million Americans remain unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau Statistics, following the initial layoffs and furloughs at the beginning of the pandemic and the U.S. death toll continues to rise past 210,000.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix

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Joe Biden

While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.

The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.

“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.

“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”

For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.

National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”

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