House leaves for October recess without reaching deal with White House on coronavirus bill

The House has adjourned for October recess so members may return to their districts to campaign ahead of Election Day, even though congressional Democrats have not reached a deal with White House officials for a coronavirus relief bill.

Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic House colleagues on Friday afternoon that she and administration officials remained far apart on certain issues. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke several times this week to negotiate, and met in person at the Capitol on Tuesday.

“Our negotiations with the Administration continue, and I am hopeful that we can reach agreement. However, we still have significant disagreement in key areas,” Pelosi wrote. She said that she and administration officials differed on unemployment insurance benefits, schools, state and local funding, a child tax credit, testing and tracing, and appropriations.

“We are expecting a response from the White House on these areas and others with more detail.  In the meantime, we continue to work on the text to move quickly to facilitate an agreement,” Pelosi said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walks into her offices at the U.S Capitol
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) enters the U.S Capitol to her office in Washington, D.C., U.S. October 2, 2020.

KEN CEDENO / REUTERS


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.”

The House narrowly passed a $2.2 trillion aid bill on Thursday evening, a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion relief bill the House passed in May.

The legislation is unlikely to pass in the Senate, as the Republican majority is unwilling to consider a proposal that costs more than $2 trillion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that “the thought that Senate Republicans would go up to $2.2 trillion is outlandish.”

In her letter to Democratic colleagues, Pelosi also offered her thoughts and prayers to President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“This is a sad day for our country, knowing that more than 7 million American families have faced the same worry after their loved one has been infected, and more than 209,000 have died,” Pelosi said.

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CIA restricts Russia intelligence reaching White House: Politico

  • The CIA is restricting the intelligence on Russia that reaches President Donald Trump and the White House, reported Politico. 
  • Some officials believe that Trump’s tendency to explode in anger at mention of Russian meddling was behind the decision.
  • One source told the outlet that Russian intelligence is being more carefully vetted because it is so sensitive. 
  • A Washington Post story on Tuesday suggested that Vladimir Putin gave his personal blessing to Russia’s campaign to subvert the 2020 presidential election.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The CIA is restricting the flow intelligence on Russia that reaches President Donald Trump and the White House, Politico reported Wednesday. 

Trump is known to explode in rage when the subject of Russia’s continuing attempts to subvert US democracy are raised, and some officials who spoke to the outlet said that this may be the reason behind limiting the intelligence on Russia that reaches the Oval Office. 

The publication said that nine current and former CIA officials confirmed the reduced flow of Russia intelligence from the CIA.

Politico’s suggestion chimes with a claim made by a former Homeland Security official who said he was told to suppress intelligence about Russia which would displease Trump.

Three of Politico’s CIA sources said that general counsel Courtney Elwood was reviewing virtually every item from Russia House, the CIA’s famed department focusing on Russia and the former USSR, before it was forwarded to the White House. 

Four of the officials said the reasons for the limits on the flow of intelligence were unclear. One claimed that CIA director Gina Haspel was limiting the information to ensure “quality over quantity.” 

According to the report, Haspel has clashed with Russia House figures, firing the head of the unit earlier this year, with one analyst resigning after she called him a liar.

In a statement to the publication, the CIA said that suggestions that Haspel’s decision making is determined by political concerns is “misguided.” 

“She rightfully asks difficult questions and ensures intelligence is corroborated, double-checked, and then run through the wringer once more. Any suggestion of a political motive for how she leads this agency is misguided.”

US intelligence agencies have warned that Russia is waging a renewed campaign to interfere in the US election this year.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the CIA believes President Vladimir Putin is likely personally overseeing the operation. 

According to the CIA report, the operation is focused on damaging Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s candidacy and helping Trump. 

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