House Democrats prepare to vote on new economic relief bill even as Pelosi and Mnuchin keep talking

“We’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” Mnuchin said. “I think there is a reasonable compromise here … It’s something the president very much wants to get done.”

It was unclear, however, if a deal could emerge in time. The House is set to adjourn within days through the election.

In absence of a deal, House Democratic leaders were preparing to move forward as soon as Wednesday with a vote on their $2.2 trillion bill, which is a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act the House passed in May.

It includes new stimulus checks, unemployment insurance, state and local aid, and money for schools, the Postal Service, election security and more. There is also payroll assistance for airlines that are facing the prospect of widespread furloughs as soon as Thursday unless a new aid package is passed.

Republicans oppose the bill as too costly and say it contains provisions extraneous to the coronavirus.

“This will be nothing more than fiddling while Rome burns,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Wednesday morning as the House Rules Committee met to agree on rules to debate the legislation.

“We have to move forward because some may be content with doing nothing but we aren’t,” said Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

Pelosi has been under intense pressure from moderates in her caucus, including some in tough re-election fights, to take new action to address the continued economic and public health ravages of the coronavirus.

However she has shown little sign she’s willing to back down from her $2.2 trillion price tag, with Democrats contending they’ve already compromised. On a private call with House Democrats Wednesday morning, Pelosi said the American people are worth the $2.2 trillion, according to two people on the call who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe it.

She also said that state and local aid and legal liability protections continue to be obstacles to a deal. Republicans and the Trump administration favor liability protections Democrats oppose, while opposing the generous state and local aid Democrats want. The Democrats’ new bill has about $500 billion for state and local governments, about half as much as the original Heroes Act.

Congress passed four bills totaling an unprecedented $3 trillion in aid in the spring, but since then the bipartisan urgency that existed at the beginning of the pandemic has dissipated and the Senate hasnt passed a related bill since. Talks involving Mnuchin and Pelosi collapsed in August, and were renewed only a few days ago. Despite public expressions of optimism from Pelosi and Mnuchin, there is widespread pessimism about their ability to get a deal.

Millions remain unemployed and there are signs that the economic recovery that emerged over the summer is slowing down. Nevertheless Trump administration continue to sound bullish about the economy.

“The economy is doing much better than anyone expected. … You’ve seen a very good rebound and you’re

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Gonzales Garden Club gets back to talking about gardening through virtual meetings | Ascension

While the coronavirus has forced many people to cancel plans and activities, gardeners have had more time to tend to their flowers, shrubs and plants.

Members of the Gonzales Garden Club talked about the measures they took to keep their plants growing during a Sept. 2 meeting. However, it wasn’t their usual gathering.

After months of suspended activities, the Gonzales Garden Club turned to the internet for its first meeting for the 2020-21 season.

Fourteen members attended virtually with the promise that more members will access the video conferencing program next month. President Jamie Trisler followed the routine schedule of the pledge, prayer, roll call, old and new business and featured program presentation.

Members cited examples of the impact the pandemic has had on their gardens. Many said their time spent at home resulted in outdoor success. Some stayed away from plant nurseries and bought seeds online; others propagated from what regrew or had young loved ones bring them plants and mulch. A few ventured out to nurseries with masks as their only “essential” outings.

After recurrent family setbacks, Dale Bowman was able to “get all caught up” in her beds this summer. Janis D’Benedetto concentrated on vegetable gardening and grew “more than enough tomatoes.” Conchita Richey noted that she “worked in the garden the entire time. It was my salvation.” Gwen Heck said her five-year-old garden is now “the best it’s ever looked.”

The program this month was “Pollinator Plants” by member Mary Jo Pohlig. She presented photos of 26 of her plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and gave unique details about each, commenting on their growth habits and needs. Her favorite easy-to-grow pollinator plants are Mexican flame vine, purple porterweed and zinnias because of how much wildlife loves them. Other reliable sun-loving bloomers include begonia, cassia, cat’s whiskers, cigar plant, coleus, fennel, globe amaranth, hibiscus, hyssop, ironweed, milkweed, moon flowers, passion vine, penta, pride of Barbados and salvia.

Pollinator plants that acclimate to shade are black-eyed Susan, firespike, guara, impatiens and Turk’s cap. Prolific pollinator plants that spread are black-eyed Susan, lyreleaf sage, mistflower, ruellia, trailing lantana and yarrow.

Pohlig toured her garden in real-time using the camera and microphone of her iPad to transmit the images of her flourishing beds. Members were able to ask questions and get answers about Pohlig’s garden practices. “To have success with these kinds of plants, fertilize thoroughly in the spring then add doses of specialty fertilizers a couple of times during the summer,” she said. Besides using fertilizer and mulch, her best advice is to “find the right place for the right plant.”

In addition to membership in the Gonzales Garden Club, Pohlig belongs to the Ascension Master Gardener Association, Sundowner’s African Violet Society, African Violet Society of America, National Audubon Society and Louisiana Ornithological Society. She is vice president of GGC plus serves on committees that plan projects and maintain community gardens.

Member Barbara McCormick presented a floral design, which is customary at in-person monthly meetings. She used

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