House passes revised coronavirus relief bill, but it’s unlikely to move in the Senate

The House passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Thursday, as the prospects for a deal between Democrats and the White House seem to be fading.  But the bill is unlikely to move through the Republican-led Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he would not support any legislation that has a price tag of more than $2 trillion.

The bill passed almost entirely along party lines, with only 18 Democrats voting against it. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that Democrats and the Trump administration were still far apart on issues including funding for state and local governments, and there is “a stark difference not just of dollars, but of values.”

After discussions with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in recent days, Pelosi said the two also remain “way off” on a child tax credit, which Democrats want to have included in any deal. But she also said that they’re “in the ballpark” on health care provisions and assistance for small businesses.

She said that she was “hoping” the House would vote on the revised HEROES Act on Thursday but still expressed some optimism that a deal could be reached with the White House.

“Hopefully, we can find our common ground on this and do so soon,” she said, but she reiterated her argument that a smaller relief bill is not better than no bill at all.

“People say, ‘Isn’t something better than nothing?’ No, there can be an opportunity cost,” Pelosi said in her press conference, giving the example of a tax cut which Republicans would like to include in a final proposal. House members could return to their districts to campaign as soon as Thursday evening, meaning that the window to pass any legislation is closing quickly.

The revised HEROES Act is a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion relief bill the House passed in May. It would restore a popular benefit providing an additional $600 per week on top of unemployment benefits, deliver another round of direct payments and provide funding for schools and state and local jurisdiction.

Some of the more moderate Democrats in the House had pushed Pelosi to put another bill on the floor. The bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus introduced a bill that would cost around $2 trillion, and Mnuchin said on Wednesday that his $1.6 trillion counteroffer to Pelosi would be similar to that framework.

A House Democratic aide confirmed to CBS News that Mnuchin and Pelosi were expected to speak on the phone on Thursday afternoon to continue negotiations.

McConnell said Wednesday that “the thought that Senate Republicans would go up to $2.2 trillion is outlandish.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also dismissed Pelosi as being “unserious” in negotiations. She praised the White House offer for a $1.6 trillion proposal, but said Democrats are refusing to budge.

“Nancy Pelosi is not being serious. If she becomes serious, then we can have a discussion here,” McEnany said at a press briefing on Thursday. She added

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How to Save Cash and Move Abroad

Editor’s Note: APYs listed in this article are up-to-date as of the time of publication. They may fluctuate (up or down) as the Fed rate changes. CNBC will update as changes are made public.

Buying a house is a major milestone that can be both scary and fun — getting a mortgage can be complicated, but there’s a lot of joy in owning your own place. But buying a house in another country takes this experience to a whole different level, as you navigate new financial systems and different laws and real estate customs.

Expats Amon and Christina Browning know the highs and lows of this experience first hand. The couple moved with their children to Lisbon, Portugal in July of 2019 to enjoy early retirement and life overseas — and a year later they bought a home there.

The Brownings rented an apartment for a year, while they searched for the perfect home and learned the ins and outs of establishing residency in their new country.

This summer, they found what they were looking for: A two-story, move-in-ready house on 1 acre of land with a garden and covered terrace.

The Browning Family house in Portugal.

Photo courtesy of Christina and Amon Browning.

Step 1: They committed to a long-term goal

To many, the Brownings’ life seems idyllic. Yet, the couple stresses that achieving their dream would not have been possible had they tried to keep up with the expectations of others.

Instead of trying to compete with “the Jonses,” the couple wrote a fictitious break-up letter to those imaginary neighbors: “The Brownings will no longer be keeping up,” reads the letter they posted on their blog. “We have more important things ahead of us — like financial independence and retiring early.”

For the past decade, the couple didn’t drive expensive cars or buy designer clothes, even as their income increased. Instead, they saved up $2 million, which they stashed in a variety of accounts, including an Ally Online Savings Account, a money market account and various brokerage accounts.

By age 40, they had saved enough to fund their expat life without having to borrow a mortgage or use credit cards (except for their rewards). This was their definition of financial freedom.

For eight years, the couple embraced what others might consider sacrifices to reduce their cost of living. Looking back, the Brownings don’t see their choices as a hardship, but rather decisions that align their goals.

Step 2: They increased their earnings with side hustles

Though the Brownings had stable government jobs with healthy salaries and good benefits, they found additional ways to increase their monthly income. 

They lived in the Bay Area, where the rental market was profitable, and since they love to renovate houses, the couple got into house flipping and rented out rooms on Airbnb.

They also started a blog and a YouTube channel to document their process, then sold courses on how to invest so others could learn from them.

Step 3: They cut

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U.S. Court Lets House Move Forward With Challenge to Trump’s Border Wall | Top News

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court handed a win to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, saying the Democratic-led chamber could proceed with a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s diversion of funds to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Reversing a lower court judge, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said in a 3-0 decision that the House had legal standing to sue Trump for using money to build the wall that was appropriated by Congress for other purposes.

The case now returns to a lower court, where House Democrats will argue that diverting the funds violated the separation of powers doctrine laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, which argued for the administration in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The wall was Trump’s signature 2016 campaign promise, and at the time he insisted that Mexico would pay for it. Mexico never agreed to that and has not done so.

The three-judge panel cited an Aug. 7 ruling by the same court that a House panel could sue to enforce a subpoena issued to former White House Counsel Don McGahn. That case was later dismissed on other grounds.

In February 2019, after a protracted political battle and a government shutdown, Congress approved $1.38 billion for construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas, well short of Trump’s demands.

To obtain additional funds for the wall, Trump declared a national emergency and his administration said it planned to divert $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion earmarked for Department of Defense counterparties programs and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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U.S. court lets House move forward with challenge to Trump’s border wall

By Jan Wolfe



a man standing in front of a building: FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump visits the U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis, Arizona


© Reuters/CARLOS BARRIA
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump visits the U.S.-Mexico border in San Luis, Arizona

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court handed a win to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, saying the Democratic-led chamber could proceed with a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s diversion of funds to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Reversing a lower court judge, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said in a 3-0 decision that the House had legal standing to sue Trump for using money to build the wall that was appropriated by Congress for other purposes.

The case now returns to a lower court, where House Democrats will argue that diverting the funds violated the separation of powers doctrine laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, which argued for the administration in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The wall was Trump’s signature 2016 campaign promise, and at the time he insisted that Mexico would pay for it. Mexico never agreed to that and has not done so.

The three-judge panel cited an Aug. 7 ruling by the same court that a House panel could sue to enforce a subpoena issued to former White House Counsel Don McGahn. That case was later dismissed on other grounds.

In February 2019, after a protracted political battle and a government shutdown, Congress approved $1.38 billion for construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas, well short of Trump’s demands.

To obtain additional funds for the wall, Trump declared a national emergency and his administration said it planned to divert $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion earmarked for Department of Defense counterparties programs and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Video: Trump asks court to let WeChat ban proceed (CNBC)

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Stimulus checks are back in play as Trump move closer to Pelosi in economic relief push

Now the California Democrat faces a crucial decision: Does she try to negotiate an agreement with a White House that suddenly seems ready to deal or continue to hold her ground and make Trump, facing his own election woes, swallow the sweeping $2.2 trillion bill she has long demanded?

Early signs suggest Pelosi is still not ready to budge.

“Great, call me when he’s at $2.2 trillion,” Pelosi told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a private call Wednesday, referring to Trump, according to two people with knowledge of her comments who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay them.

Holding her ground with Trump may be the easy part. It also means facing down an insurrection from the very members she has long tried hardest to protect, the swing-seat Democrats whose victories in GOP-leaning districts returned Democrats to the House majority last year.

These centrist Democrats, fearful of constituent blowback, are pushing Pelosi to return to the negotiating table and strike a deal with Trump on an expansive relief package — even if she can’t get the $2.2 trillion she wants. Congress has already approved roughly $3 trillion in emergency spending in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and Pelosi has called for much more. The latest Republican offer, the one Trump dismissed, was closer to $300 billion.

There’s a palpable fear among Democrats that voters will blame them on Election Day should they appear to be putting their own reelections ahead of what’s good for Americans.

“We should have that same level of urgency that we had when we were dealing with this in March and April,” said Rep. Andy Kim, who flipped a GOP district in New Jersey last election. “And I don’t really get that sense that that type of just timeliness and that urgency is underlying what everybody here is feeling right now.”

The infighting has created an odd situation whereby Pelosi’s centrist members have applauded the position of a president they voted to impeach just months ago. Some of these moderates offered kudos for Trump on Wednesday after he praised a $1.5 trillion bipartisan coronavirus deal put forward by the Problem Solvers Caucus — a group of 50 pragmatic-minded Republicans and Democrats in the House — and tweeted that his own party should consider “much higher numbers,” signaling his openness to a deal.

“The tweet that Trump just sent out saying that he was open to more resources for the American people is a good thing because they need more resources,” said Blue Dog Coalition leader Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.). “We can argue about what the specifics of a plan should look like, but the important thing is that we get back to the negotiating table and hammer out a deal that can be passed into law.”

Pelosi, meanwhile, had dismissed the Problem Solvers pitch, and her top policy chairmen put out a statement saying the proposal “falls short” and “leaves too many needs unmet.”

The diss by senior House Democrats infuriated many frontliners eager to

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Moderate Democrats pressure Pelosi, House leadership to move new coronavirus bill: ‘Stop the stupidity’

Moderate Democrats, especially those in swing districts, have been pressuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass another coronavirus relief bill, signaling that blaming the Senate Republicans and the White House for the inaction isn’t flying back home with their constituents who need help.

One of the boldest efforts of revolt came Tuesday when the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus revealed their $1.5 trillion coronavirus relief plan, with 25 Democrats breaking with their leadership and joining 25 Republicans on a compromise plan.

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., was among the backers of the plan and said his frustration with leadership’s failure to make a deal pales in comparison to the frustration of his constituents needing help. It’s been four months since the House passed its $3 trillion HEROES Act — which died in the GOP-led Senate — and now Rose and fellow frontline Democrats have been urging House leadership to put another bill on the floor that could actually become law.

BIPARTISAN LAWMAKERS OFFER CORONAVIRUS RELIEF SOLUTION IN EFFORT TO BREAK LOGJAM

“The pressure is loud and forthright and it is bipartisan in nature,” Rose told Fox News of the urging on both GOP and Democratic leadership to move a “real” bill. “Because that pressure is reflective of where the American people are. They are sick and tired of politics.”

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y.

“To the leadership, we said this very simple message: It’s time for you to stop playing games. Let’s stop the charade. Let’s stop this stupidity. Let’s put the country first.”

The Problem Solvers’ effort was designed to break the logjam on stalled coronavirus talks between Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and the White House. Instead, it met with unified resistance from Pelosi and her leadership team.

In a rare move, all eight major Democratic committee chairs put out a joint statement Tuesday rejecting the bipartisan plan, saying it “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”

PELOSI TO KEEP HOUSE IN SESSION UNTIL CORONAVIRUS DEAL REACHED AS ELECTION QUICKLY APPROACHES

A national Democratic source said the move by the Problem Solvers Caucus Democrats “undermined” Pelosi’s negotiating position in trying to secure a robust coronavirus deal.

“The Problem Solvers Caucus’ play put Democrats in disarray and clearly undermined Schumer and Pelosi in such important negotiations,” the source told Fox News.

“That statement is highly unusual,” the source continued about the swift condemnation from Democratic chairs. “It shows how worried the Democratic leadership is that Pelosi is being undercut.”

Democrats took control of the House in 2018 thanks to flipping some 40 seats from red to blue. Those front-line members fighting for another term in office have been among the most outspoken about wanting a deal.

SENATE FAILS TO ADVANCE ‘TARGETED’ $300B CORONAVIRUS BILL; RELIEF IN LIMBO

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Problem Solvers Caucus member who opposed the $3 trillion bill in May and flipped a GOP district, criticized Pelosi’s resistance to a smaller coronavirus package.

“What the House put forward months ago isn’t moving forward,” Spanberger, D-Va., 

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At Historic White House Event, UAE and Bahrain to Move Toward Normal Ties With Israel | World News

By Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday will become the latest Arab states to break a longstanding taboo when they sign agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran.

U.S. President Donald Trump will host the White House ceremony at noon EDT (1600 GMT), capping a dramatic month when first the UAE and then Bahrain agreed to reverse decades of ill will without a resolution of Israel’s decades-old dispute with the Palestinians.

At the U.S.-brokered ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign agreements with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.

The deals make them the third and fourth Arab states to take such steps to normalize ties since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The back-to-back agreements, which have drawn bitter condemnation from the Palestinians, mark an improbable diplomatic victory for Trump. He has spent his presidency forecasting deals on such intractable problems as North Korea’s nuclear program only to find actual achievements elusive.

Trump is up for re-election on Nov. 3 and the accords could help him shore up support among pro-Israel Christian evangelical voters, an important part of his political base.

Bringing Israel, the UAE and Bahrain together reflects their shared concern about Iran’s rising influence in the region and development of ballistic missiles. Iran has been critical of both deals.

“Instead of focusing on past conflicts, people are now focused on creating a vibrant future filled with endless possibilities,” White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said in a statement late on Monday. Kushner helped negotiate the agreements and is trying to persuade more Gulf countries to strike similar accords with Israel.

One target of White House appeals is Oman, whose leader spoke with Trump last week.

Another is Saudi Arabia, the biggest Gulf Arab power. So far the Saudis, whose king is custodian of Islam’s holiest sites and rules the world’s largest oil exporter, have signaled they are not ready.

Although a diplomatic win for Netanyahu, the signing ceremony takes place while he faces criticism at home of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a corruption trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust that has led to frequent street protests.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and describes his trial as a leftist political witch-hunt aimed at unseating a popular right-wing leader.

Netanyahu signaled on Monday that Israel’s deals with the two Gulf Arab states may still be works in progress.

A senior Trump administration official said that the documents were complete or nearly finished, that Israel would sign separate agreements with each of the Gulf states and that then the United States would join all three in signing a common document known as the Abraham Accords. But the official declined to provide specifics.

In a nod to the coronavirus that has hit the United States and the world, the White

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Dems claim POW/MIA flag’s move from atop White House to on-site memorial dishonors troops

President Trump is under fire this week from Democrats who claim he’s disrespected veterans by moving a POW/MIA flag from atop the White House to an on-site memorial.

At issue is the implementation of S.693 — the National POW/MIA Flag Act — which was signed into law in November and increases the frequency and locations the POW/MIA flag is flown on federal properties.

Bill sponsor Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other colleagues signed a letter framing the move as a sign of disrespect toward the military community.

“This decision to abruptly move the POW/MIA Flag from atop the White House to an area that is apparently not visible to the public may violate federal law and does not appropriately honor the service and sacrifices of American prisoners of war, missing servicemembers, and their families,” the letter read, Reuters reported Friday.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, a co-sponsor of the bill, also lambasted the decision.

“It’s part of a pattern of disrespect by President Trump toward those who honorably served our nation,” the Democrat said.

Their protest comes in the wake of an Atlantic article in which an anonymous source claimed Mr. Trump called fallen military personnel “losers” and “suckers.”

The president has denied the claims.

Multiple witnesses to the alleged conversation — including former national security adviser John Bolton — have publicly rejected the story.

“President Trump dedicated a POW/MIA memorial site earlier this year on the White House grounds to forever remember our heroic service members who were prisoners of war or missing in action,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told Reuters. “The president selected a site on the Southwest corner of the South Lawn for this prominent and sacred memorial, which is visible to all those who visit the White House, that features the POW/MIA flag.”

Mr. Trump also proclaimed Sept. 20 to be National POW/MIA Recognition Day last year.

“My Administration is dedicated to locating and identifying the more than 81,000 American service members unaccounted for — many of whom were former prisoners of war — to help alleviate the grieving and prolonged uncertainty of their families,” he wrote. “We vow to pursue the fullest possible accounting of these gallant patriots.”

“I call upon the people of the United States to join me in saluting all American POWs and those missing in action who valiantly served our country,” he continued. “I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

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