McConnell breaks from White House-Democratic negotiations, unveils separate bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he will release a separate stimulus proposal worth $500 billion, significantly lower than the deal Democrats and the White House are negotiating.

“We’re going to go back on the floor next week, again, with a proposal more narrowly targeted,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky on Tuesday. “I want to give my friends on the other side one more chance to do highly-targeted relief that the country desperately needs.”

The new proposal includes funding for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), extra unemployment benefits, money for schools, and liability protections for businesses. McConnell is expected to put the proposal for a vote after the Senate returns on October 19.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) listens to U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while hosting Republican congressional leaders and members of Trump's cabinet in the Oval Office at the White House July 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump and the congressional leaders talked about a proposed new round of financial stimulus to help the economy during the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) listens to U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters while hosting Republican congressional leaders and members of Trump’s cabinet in the Oval Office at the White House July 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Soon after McConnell made his comments on the new targeted proposal, the president reiterated his support for a larger stimulus deal, tweeting “STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!” on Tuesday.

The White House’s latest proposal is around $1.8 trillion, up from $1.6 trillion, and closer to the price tag of the Democrats’ latest $2.2 trillion stimulus proposal that passed the House in September.

McConnell’s new proposal has similar provisions to the one the GOP released in early September, which was worth $650 billion, but only $300 billion of that was new spending with the rest being repurposed money. The previous package was rejected in the Senate.

At least 38 states have paid out all their funds available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. (David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
At least 41 states have paid out all their funds available under the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. (David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

‘We cannot get an agreement just by folding’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has been actively negotiating a new stimulus package with the White House, said that the latest offer by the administration falls short, but she still is hopeful for a deal.

Read more: Here’s what you need to know about unemployment benefits eligibility

Sticking points for any deal between the White House and Democrats include aid for state and local governments, funding for schools, workers’ protections and child care support, rental assistance, funding for increased testing and tracing as well as funding for small businesses, elections, and the census.

“We really need to have an agreement, but we cannot have an agreement by just folding,” Pelosi said on a conference call with House Democrats on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. “I don’t think our leverage has ever been greater than it is now.”

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2020 -- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Oct. 9, 2020. U.S. President Donald Trump has approved a revised COVID-19 relief package in the negotiations with congressional Democrats, White House's National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Friday. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to discuss a new 1.8-trillion-U.S.-dollar relief proposal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when the two speak Friday afternoon, according to The Wall Street Journal. (Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/T IngShen/liujie via Getty Images)
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Oct. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/T IngShen/liujie via Getty Images)

Any deal reached by Democrats and the White House would likely face stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where it would need 60 votes to pass.

In early August, McConnell said that the GOP would

Read more

Man arrested in separate Winter Garden shootings planned to kill again, cops say

Winter Garden police on Friday arrested a 24-year-old man they say was responsible for two shootings, including one that killed another man earlier this week.

Phillip Alonte Stalnaker is facing charges of first-degree murder from a shooting earlier this week and attempted murder stemming from a Sept. 20 shooting, said Winter Garden Capt. Scott Allen.

Allen said Stalnaker also is a suspect in a fatal shooting from Wednesday that left 60-year-old Jose Manuel Clas Gonzalez dead. Police were called around 8:42 a.m. to a home in the 1000 block of Lincoln Terrace. Officers started CPR and paramedics took him to Orlando Regional Medical Center where he died, Allen said.

Gonzalez was apparently being robbed and a fight ensued, leading to the shooting.

Stalnaker was arrested shortly after 2 p.m. Officers found a gun they believe he used in both shootings, Allen said.

“Investigators interviewed Stalnaker and he admitted to being the suspect in both cases, and that today’s arrest has kept him from committing an additional homicide that he had planned to commit,” Allen said in a emailed statement. “Because of the investigation conducted by the Winter Garden Police Department, and with the assistance of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Winter Garden is a much safer place tonight.”

An arrest affidavit was not immediately available.

[email protected]

———

©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

White House urges Congress to pass separate aid bill for airlines

By Andrea Shalal and Steve Holland



a plane sitting on the tarmac at an airport: FILE PHOTO: American Airlines planes are parked at the gate during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Washington


© Reuters/Joshua Roberts
FILE PHOTO: American Airlines planes are parked at the gate during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration is urging U.S. lawmakers to pass separate bills to aid airlines and other sectors, given failure to reach agreement on a broader package of stimulus funding, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Congress has been deadlocked over another round of economic stimulus aimed at blunting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed over 200,000 people in the United States.

U.S. airlines, facing a huge drop in demand due to virus-related lockdowns, on Tuesday mounted a last-ditch bid to persuade Congress to approve a new $25 billion bailout to help avert thousands of furloughs set to begin Oct. 1.

Delta Air Lines has agreed to delay a decision on pilot furloughs until Nov. 1, the pilots union said on Tuesday.

Two key Republican senators this week introduced a bill that would authorize $28.8 billion in payroll aid for the airlines. But congressional aides say a stand-alone measure is unlikely to win passage given aid requests from so many other struggling industries.

McEnany said talks about a broader stimulus measure were continuing with House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and said the White House’s agreement to accept a measure valued at $1.5 trillion could still lead to some progress.

In the absence of a bigger bill, she urged Pelosi to work on separate legislation to address the needs of airlines, which have warned that they will be forced to carry out mass layoffs unless they receive additional assistance.

“The onus is really on Speaker Pelosi, so we encourage her to send one-off bills, perhaps airline funding, or other elements that we could work through the process to get to the American people,” she told a briefing at the White House.

Representative Hakeem Jeffries, a member of House Democratic leadership, said the House in mid-May passed a comprehensive $3.4 trillion coronavirus-response bill that the administration rejected, and said any bill had to be “a meaningful agreement.”

“We can’t have a cosmetic fake agreement. … That’s what the president wants, a fake agreement,” he told a weekly briefing.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; writing by Andrea Shalal; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more