WASHINGTON: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the U.S. Treasury on Wednesday not to hold up US$25 billion in cash grants approved by Congress last week to airlines for payroll costs. "We do want them to honor what our conversation was, which is this is just a stopping-off point for the check. It goes to the airline and directly to the employee," Pelosi told reporters on a conference call. "We just don't want to hold it up." Major aviation unions and some airline officials are concerned the U.S. Treasury will demand too much in warrants or equity as a condition of the grants for airline payroll costs. Treasury on Monday told airlines to propose financial instruments as part of their applications for grants that they want to see by Friday. Treasury did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. The legislation requires equity, warrants or other financial compensation for taxpayers for the US$25 billion in loans, but gives Treasury Secretary Steven … [Read more...] about Democrats urge US Treasury not to delay US$25 billion in grants to airlines
How many democrats in congress
WASHINGTON: Fresh partisan divisions flared on Sunday (Mar 29) on the next steps for the US Congress in dealing with the coronavirus crisis, with the top House of Representatives Republican casting doubt on the need for more economic stimulus legislation while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signalled she plans to move forward with it. President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a US$2.2 trillion aid package - the largest on record - to address the economic downturn inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic after the Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate put aside partisan differences to pass it nearly unanimously. It was the third legislative package approved by lawmakers to address the mounting crisis. "I'm not sure we need a fourth package," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told the Fox News programme "Sunday Morning Futures," noting he wants to see the first three packages take effect first. Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, told CNN's "State of the … [Read more...] about Partisan divide returns in US Congress on coronavirus next steps
President Joe Biden is making “a lobbying effort” to unify Senate Democrats on his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill , which was earlier okayed by the House, The Washington Post reports. On Monday, Biden convened a group of these Democrats over a conference call, which focused on “targeting the dollars” that were included in the package, according to Senator Jon Tester. He was echoed by his colleague Joe Manchin who said that during the call, the senators were “just looking for a targeted bill”. “[We] want it to be very targeted, helping the people that need help the most”, Manchin stressed. The Post cited in this context two unnamed sources as saying that the Senate Democrats also discussed tightening income eligibility for the $1,400 stimulus checks, which are part of Biden’s COVID-19 relief package, also known as the American Rescue Plan. © REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST U.S. President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and … [Read more...] about Biden Reportedly Making ‘Lobbying Effort’ to Unify Senate Democrats Ahead of COVID Relief Bill Vote
With Republican Members of Congress united in opposition to the pending coronavirus relief legislation, Democrats require both an unusual degree of consensus and the special protections of “budget reconciliation” procedures to enact the legislation on their own. Budget reconciliation allows Congress to pass certain kinds of important fiscal legislation with only a simple majority rather than the 60 votes ordinarily required to cut off a filibuster in the Senate. To keep reconciliation procedures from being hijacked to ram through every item on the majority party’s wish-list on which it lacks the votes to end a filibuster, the statute establishing them imposes strict criteria for what provisions are eligible for reconciliation treatment. Democrats have known all along that some provisions they wanted to include in the relief bill might not meet the requirements for budget reconciliation. Chief among these was their proposed stepped increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. … [Read more...] about Democrats wrong to attack Senate parliamentarian
In the post-Trump era, Republicans are carrying forward a tough-on-China policy agenda that already is putting them at odds with their Democratic colleagues on major legislation. The American Rescue Act, the COVID-19 relief package headed to the Senate , is no exception to conservatives' will to impose measures they see as preventing China from enjoying favors from the U.S. The Claim On Monday, users on Twitter called out Democrats for allegedly blocking an amendment to the COVID-19 stimulus bill that would have prevented China from receiving U.S. taxpayer funds. The chatter stemmed from an article originally published by Breitbart , leading Republicans' supporters to question Democrats' loyalties. The Facts On February 26, Representative Andy Barr (R-Ky.) introduced an amendment before the House Rules Committee that aimed to prevent funds from being allocated to organizations connected to the Chinese government. The bill had support from several other … [Read more...] about Fact Check: Did Democrats Block COVID Bill Amendment Keeping Money From China?