GOP Stimulus vs Biden Stimulus

Republicans on Capitol Hill have a different idea for the stimulus package as proposed by President Biden. Recall that President Biden had proposed a $1.9 trillion package including another stimulus check, eviction aid, and other strategies, however, the GOP has turned down this offer brought forward a counter package that totals $618 billion, which is not up to a third of what the president offered.

The bill for the $1.9 trillion packages was not passed as the republicans did not vote in favor of it. President Biden then met with 10 Republican senators in a bid to sway their opinion, however, they presented their counteroffer to the president. In the meeting described as ‘cordial’, no conclusion was reached and both parties agreed to continue to talk, to reach an agreement.

Both packages are similar in strategies and differ in amount value. Democrats are willing to allocate up to $2,000, for the stimulus payments, while the GOP insists on $1,000 per adult with a reduced income range to qualify for it, and $500 per dependent.

With regards to unemployment, democrats propose that benefits be continued till September, while the GOP wants it to be stopped by June. They propose using less than half of President Biden’s proposed sum of $350 billion on this.

Both plans agree on the fact that $20 billion would be utilized in coronavirus testing, vaccination, and tracing with a variation on the actual strategies to be deployed. The Biden proposal considers tripling the health workers available, while the GOP would rather pump funds into hospitals and health care providers that have suffered a loss in revenue and/or coronavirus-related expenses.

Despite the areas of agreement, the President emphasized his view that Congress must respond boldly and promptly and that the senators’ proposal did not address some areas, and as such would not be sufficient in itself.

The republicans seem hopeful that a bipartisan agreement of some sort can be reached, and eagerly look forward to it especially since the initial meeting with the president was held, which was one of his first activities in the office.

While the president is sure that the GOP would come to a bipartisan agreement, democrats do not seem to share the same opinion, as they went ahead to discuss reconciliation, in a bid to overthrow the GOP and get approval on President Biden’s relief package. At the moment, the Democrats have a total of 50 votes on the chair 100 seating capacity and with a reconciliation of budget, they would require a simple majority to pass the bid. And the winning chip would be V.P Kamala Harris. The GOP thinks that reconciliation would be a far stretch as there has not yet been enough of a bipartisan effort.

All in all, Democrats are considering every way to ensure this bill gets passed, and as soon as possible. With the president working directly with the GOP reps, Americans seem calm that one way would get them the bigger and preferred package of $1.9 trillion.

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Reconciliation vs. The Senate GOP

The desk of Senate minority leader – Mitch McConnell – has killed so many progress bills including the measure to increase survival checks at the 116th congress and thereafter. 

The Senate GOP referring to the Republican party insisted in this congress that they would not be bullied into advancing the checks. 

By the 117th congress, democrats provided more votes to this same cause than the republicans. Polling shows that 78% of Americans support the increased checks and blame Republicans, majorly McConnell for not allowing it to pass.

Senator Bernie Sanders believes that the votes are available to pass the bill needed for the survival checks once reconciliation is made. The most important part of this, if true, is that the Senate GOP will be completely bypassed, and calls for their votes will be unnecessary, as budget reconciliation will allow for bills to be passed by majority vote. Outside of reconciliation, a 60% vote is needed to move forward, however, with reconciliation, the debate is limited to 20 hours, following which, majority wins. Presently, Democrats hold a total of 50 seats in the 100 seat chamber and VP Kamala Harris would be extremely important in her role as senate president for the tie-breaking vote.

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Educational Institutions and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic disrupted so many schedules, agendas, and events, including but not limited to schooling. This has certainly got to be the worst disruption to the education sector since time immemorial. Considering the previous academic year was filled with a lot of uncertainties, the 2021/2022 school calendar year promises to be better albeit starting up a bit roughly. This would majorly be due to better prevention practices, social distancing, and ultimately vaccination. The Ohio government has also requested that certain prevention practices and controls be set in place by schools.

On March 16, 2020, schools in Ohio closed, and they remained closed for the remainder of the school year. Early in June, it was announced that schools would reopen, but the state was working on guidelines to ensure this possibility. These guidelines tagged ‘Reset and Restart’ were released in July and modified in August 2020 to enable schools to develop their reopening plans. 

Many people and schools were against the closure for reasons such as that 

  • School-aged children are at low risk of COVID – 19;
  • Closing and opening and of schools would have effects on the economy;
  • Closing schools is not an effective practice in mitigating the spread of the virus;
  • A few also complained of the digital divide that would arise from distance learning.

Others who supported closing schools argued the below:

  • Evidence from previous pandemics support the closure of schools
  • Reopening universities will increase the spread of the virus

Governor Mike DeWine mentioned that it was necessary to reopen schools and he was worried about children who have not learned well online due to accessibility, disability, or other reasons.

In November 2020, the Lucas County Health Board insisted that middle schools and higher classes should resume remote learning between December 4 and January 11, while kids in classes six and below could continue to go to school. This resulted in a lawsuit being filed against them by 3 Christian schools in Northwest Ohio, as they claim the new ruling violated their rights to provide religious education in the classroom, and the new ruling prevents affected students’ from utilizing their first amendment rights. They were subsequently joined by Ohio’s largest Christian public policy organization – The schools and Citizens for community values, as they were in support and believed older students should not be kept from schools.

The suit sought that this order is overthrown, and students allowed for in-class teaching. The schools involved are the Monclova Christian Academy, St. John’s Jesuit High School, and Emmanuel Christian School. They believed that the ruling was unjust as students were prevented from getting SAT prep, but could get into clubs, gyms and casinos. They insisted that the limitation was placed on schools while other avenues that might promote the spread of the virus were not curtailed. Furthermore, they insisted that the decision was way more restrictive than what the governor had advised.

The district court denied the motion on the basis that it was a neutral general ruling. Following another denial, the schools decided to appeal for an injunction at the court of appeals for the sixth circuit and this was granted.

In a similar vein, it is also important to mention that a coalition of public universities is calling on Congress to allocate $97billion in the next coronavirus relief package. This is expected to provide critical support to students, protect jobs, financially stabilize institutions and also strengthen public universities’ response to the pandemic in general. They iterated that previous relief packages were ‘very helpful’ but fell woefully short in mitigating the effects resulting from the pandemic.

Hopefully, the government would pay particular attention to educational institutions especially as affected by the Coronavirus.

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It’s obvious why America fired Donald Trump – They disapproved of the Job he did

Donald Trump was elected the 45th president after campaigning with his slogan – Make America great again – and resumed office in 2017.   

This surprise victory of a new politician demonstrated that Americans were eager to disrupt the political scene in hopes of change. 

He thrived on the support of highly expectant voters who could not be discouraged in their quest for change. Thus, with Trump at the helm of the Republican seat, campaigning against Democrat representative – Hillary Clinton, expectations were high as to his performance in office towards rekindling the American dream, however, this was not so, as the highly outspoken and ‘no care for the emotional effects’ president went about his activities with a chip on his shoulder and an attitude of total nonchalance, putting laws into effect and engaging in unsavory practices, such as his immigration laws and various media outbursts. 

As monitored and recorded by Gallup, upon assumption of office in January 2017, his job approval ratings were at 45%, this record wavered steadily till about May of that same year, when it began a steady decline, to an average of 37%, most will say this was as a result of his various shocking actions such as firing the FBI director. Prior to this time, only once had the director of the FBI been fired, and this was on the grounds of ethical violations and only after a judicial investigation; however, Trump fired Comey almost as a direct effect of his handling of cases and investigations surrounding himself and his allies. 

According to a post in the Intelligencer, the now ex-president practically confessed to obstruction of justice. He went on to declare the mainstream media the enemy of the people. One could conclude this phase was the first eye-opening period for Americans.  

In April and May 2018, he received approval ratings upwards of 40% up to 42%, according to Wikipedia, more than 103k jobs were created in March, and the unemployment rate was stable till April. Wages also grew by 2.6% in this same period. At the beginning of the quarter, he was down 4.9% from the initial rating upon assuming office. A record 45% approval rating was noticed in week 73, commencing June 11.  

In February 2020, he hit a new record of 49%, amid the initial phase of the coronavirus and he received high scores from Americans for his initial response. An obvious and steady reduction commenced in May as a result of his handling of the death of George Floyd, several racial protests, and the continued effects, and his response to the pandemic, this persisted till Dec, closing out at 39%. It is easy to see the effects of his decisions were long in coming but were foremost on everyone’s mind and this eventually led to his less than regal ousting from the presidency and ultimately from any other subsequent race. 

In January 2021, approval ratings for ex-president Trump were at a record low of 34%.  It is important to mention that he is the only president to never hit a 50% job approval rating at any point during his tenure since the Gallup poll commenced – see what I mean? 

Trump becomes the 11th president who failed to win re-election. Gallup further notes that Trump is now the 4th US incumbent president defeated for re-election since it started its polling, and the second one to have a lower rating post-election.   

Gerald Ford, one of the 4 previous presidents had lower approval ratings after he pardoned Nixon in 1974, and even with this, he made an average of 50% and recorded an increase in rating post-election.    

Jimmy Carter, another ex-president who missed it at re-election, had a much lower rating falling below 30% and closed out at 34%, wherein a loss of approval from party followership was noted.  

George H.W. Bush had extremely high ratings during his first years in office, however, the numbers steadily declined with the economy at the time. He also closed out with a weak 34% compared to previous ratings when he assumed office.   

For Trump, his markedly low rating post-election could be linked to his reaction to the election results and subsequently his prompting of the assault on the capitol building. 

Final job approval ratings by party identification also showed a 14% decrease by fellow republicans and a 28% reduction from independents telling us that even his party members disapproved of the job he did.

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Honest Joe

Good ole Joe. Honest Joe.

That’s it.

That’s all the blog post.

Let me elaborate on that some more.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is honest in his statements, yes we can recognise he has made some misleading or false claims here and there but, when your opponent has made 13,435 false or misleading claims way before he even had 1000th in office, the bar is not that high.

Unless you are Paulette Dale, who loves President Donald Trump’s smile– Wait, she’s voting for Biden?!

Wow, who could have guessed it? Telling lies doesn’t help, imagine that.

Jokes aside, let us look at the numbers, shall we?

By American voters, Democratic candidate Joe Biden is seen as more honest, more even-tempered, and a better role model than US President Donald Trump.

On a poll conducted June 16-22 by Pew Research Centre among 4,708 adults, including 3,577 registered voters, found overall headline figures of 54% of registered voters who said that if the election were held today, they would vote for Biden or lean toward voting for him, putting him ten points ahead of Trump, who was backed by 44%.

So you could say Trump is LIE-ing low in the polls. No? Okay.

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Pandemic Eviction

Yes, that is and thing and it is happening during a time where every single health authority and official, advice is to stay home. A growing number of people are being forced out of where they live because they can’t pay the rent.

Because being stressed about catching Covid-19 and losing your job is not enough, you have to be stressed about getting evicted and since that’s not hard enough on its own, you could be getting evicted during a pandemic too.

There is a new eviction ban being enacted through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal is to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, which the agency says in its order “presents a historic threat to public health.”

Housing advocates and landlord groups both have been warning that millions of people could soon be put out of their homes through eviction if Congress does not do more to help renters and landlords and reinstate expanded unemployment benefits

“While an eviction moratorium is an essential step, it is a half-measure that extends a financial cliff for renters to fall off of when the moratorium expires and back rent is owed.” says Diane Yentel, CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Landlords are worried about falling off a cliff too. Doug Bibby is the president of the National Multifamily Housing Council. He says, “An eviction moratorium will ultimately harm the very people it aims to help by making it impossible for housing providers, particularly small owners, to meet their financial obligations and continue to provide shelter to their residents”

Evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent will be allowed. The government says it will impose criminal penalties on landlords who violate the ban.

The bottom line here is, we need legislation with funding that helps both renters and landlords, because when Covid-19 is over (and I sincerely hope it will be over, and becomes a thing of the pass at some point) the rent will be due, and you will either be a renter with a huge amount due, or a landlord with an empty property and with very few people able to afford a roof above their heads

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The People Have Spoken

But did the President listen?

President Donald Trump said he couldn’t hear the protesters who booed him and first lady, Melania Trump when they paid their respects to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The numbers of news outlets with videos of this precise moment are too many to count, but I can tell you something the “vote him out” chant was deafening, the people spoke, yet it wasn’t clear enough for Trump.

He later said that he and the first lady couldn’t hear what was being chanted.

“Well I think that was just a political chant, I couldn’t — we could hardly hear it from where we were. Somebody said there was some chanting, but they were right next to the media. But really couldn’t– hardly hear too much,” Trump said Thursday afternoon on his way from the White House to a campaign rally in North Carolina. “We heard a sound, but it wasn’t very strong.”

I wonder, will the people stay this loud come November?

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Coronavirus USA

The daily confirmed Covid-19 (Coronavirus) cases, today Oct. 6th 2020, is of 40.705.
This is the current number of Covid-19 cases by state, starting with the highest:

#StateConfirmed Cases#StateConfirmed Cases
1California835,97126Iowa93,448
2Texas809,56027Oklahoma91,982
3Florida720,12528Arkansas87,430
4New York500,41529Nevada82,437
5Georgia323,71430Utah78,723
6Illinois306,13331Colorado73,537
7Arizona221,93432Kentucky73,158
8Nort Carolina219,75433Kansas63,580
9New Jersey212,56434Connecticut59,120
10Tennessee203,69935Nebraska48,259
11Pennsylvania169,66436Idaho44,422
12Louisiana168,51237Oregon35,049
13Alabama160,47738New Mexico30,632
14Ohio160,03039Rhode Island25,596
15Virginia153,18240South Dakota24,598
16South Carolina152,15941North Dakota24,364
17Michigan142,72642Delaware21,466
18Missouri138,43243West Virginia16,936
19Massachussetts135,46244District Of Columbia15,652
20Wisconsin134,35945Montana14,847
21Maryland128,20446Hawaii12,854
22Indiana125,97647New Hampshire8,680
23Minnesota104,79948Alaska8,613
24Mississippi100,70349Wyoming6,629
25Washington94,09450Maine5,565
51Vermont1,821
Source: worldometers.info/

These numbers give a grim perspective, I can tell you that in each the state the number of cases that made a full recovery is more than 50% and yes, the death toll is high, yet the percentage of deaths is very low; take California for example, the total number of deaths is 16,178 and that amounts for approximately around 1.9% of the confirmed cases.

I agree that number of deaths should be 0, but we can’t all be Vermont that up to this date has had less than 2000 confirmed cases: I’d love for Vermont to have a super neat trick or secret to keep that number so low but they just did the standards like frequent hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing

Yes, it is that simple!

Unless you ask President Donald Trump, who until now has given some pretty misleading information, such as:

  • On the Nature of the Outbreak: The outbreak would be temporary: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.” This is the one I wish were true, but sadly it isn’t. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned days later that he was concerned that “as the next week or two or three go by, we’re going to see a lot more community-related cases.” He was right—the virus has not disappeared.
  • Blaming the Obama Administration: The Trump White House “inherited” a “broken,” “bad,” and “obsolete” test for the coronavirus. The novel coronavirus did not exist in humans during the Obama administration. Public-health experts agree that, because of that fact, the CDC could not have produced a test, and thus a new test had to be developed this year.
  • On Coronavirus Testing: “Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. We—they’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful” and “If somebody wants to be tested right now, they’ll be able to be tested.” Trump made these two claims two months apart, but the truth was the same both times: The U.S. did not have enough testing.
  • On COVID-19 Treatments and Vaccines: Trump was being “sarcastic” when he suggested in a briefing on April 23 that his medical experts should research the use of powerful light and injected disinfectants to treat COVID-19. Trump’s tone did not seem sarcastic when he made the apparent suggestion to inject disinfectants. Turning to Birx and a Department of Homeland Security science-and-technology official, he mused: “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? … It would be interesting to check that.” When he walked this statement back the next day, he added that he was only asking his experts “to look into whether or not sun and disinfectant on the hands [work].” [PLEASE DO NOT DRINK OR INJECT BLEACH OR DISINFECTANTS]

Also, North Dakota.
What’s going on there?
Covid-19 hospitalizations in North Dakota have hit a new high, the state Department of Health reported Monday.

We are not experts on the matter to be given out recommendations, but we can quote the experts:

In an interview with “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on MSNBC, Dr. Fauci addressed when people would most likely be able to do things again that they had done before the pandemic, such as going to an indoor movie theater “with impunity.”
While a vaccine may be available by the end of the year, he said, “by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen till the mid or end of 2021.”
In a panel discussion at Harvard Medical School he said “we need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy.” Ms. Mitchell pointed out that this conflicted with what President Trump had said at the White House on the same day, that the country had “rounded the final turn” on the virus.
He said “what we don’t want to see is going into the fall season when people will be spending more time indoors — and that’s not good for a respiratory borne virus — you don’t want to start off already with a baseline that’s so high.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its website to warn that the coronavirus can spread through the air, something public health experts have been warning about for months but went unacknowledged by the agency until Monday.
“There is evidence that under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away,” the CDC says on its website.

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Will There Be A Second Stimulus Check?

Remember the second stimulus check?
It might never happen.

This is the one subject that has Americans glued to the news:

  • subreddit dedicated to discussions about stimulus checks has over 25,000 members.
  • And a Google search of “Second Stimulus Check” returns 190 million results.

The “skinny” deal’s total package of $650 billion was a noticeable mark down from the $1 trillion HEALS Act Republicans proposed in July and about a fifth of the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act the House of Representatives passed on May 15.

Both the Heroes Act passed by House Democrats and the HEALS Act introduced by Senate Republicans include a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment (EIP). President Trump favours stimulus payments.

The IRS could send payments quickly. When and if another stimulus check happens, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it would take about a week to orchestrate the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” he said.

There were no second stimulus checks in August. There’s still chance they will go out in September (or what is left of it). Maybe a bill will be passed in September, with checks issued in October

One reasonable fact still remains: if a second stimulus package isn’t passed in September, with checks issued in October, our next best hope will be 2021.

Since the recent hearing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, what is the current talk about stimulus?

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Pandemic Eviction

U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Don Beyer (VA-08), Vice Chair and House leader of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, introduced the Worker Relief and Security Act. The legislation would automatically continue and provide for additional enhanced emergency unemployment benefits for the duration of the public health emergency and ensuing economic crisis until conditions return closer to pre-crisis levels.

30 million unemployed workers face a drastic cut in income. The gap in unemployment benefits will inflict anguish on millions of American families, many of whom will have extreme difficulty paying for food and housing, and do serious damage to the economy.

The Worker Relief and Security Act would:

  • A worker who exhausts their traditional unemployment compensation benefits (funded by the state) will be able to receive additional unemployment benefits fully financed by the federal government without limit until 26 weeks after the end of extreme social distancing.
  • A worker receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits for those who do not qualify for traditional UI will also not face limits on the number of weeks they can draw benefits until 26 weeks after the end of the Public Health Emergency.
  • Workers receiving the extra $600 in weekly benefits will continue to receive it until 30 days after the end of the President’s emergency declaration, after which it will begin to phase down over 13 weeks.

“Crushing levels of unemployment are likely to linger even as some businesses start to open, and workers who lose their jobs need unemployment benefits until the job market gets close to pre-crisis levels. Extending unemployment benefits will bolster the economy and protect millions of households from financial ruin and serious hardship,” said former Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew

“If we are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure the economic dignity and security of our workers and families during this nearly unprecedented crisis, the single most important policy may be an extension of a robust unemployment benefit that is tied not to an arbitrary date, but to when our job market and public health response is strong enough to let tens of millions safely return to work. Ensuring that all workers who are jobless, or facing reduced hours due to the crisis, have a benefit that helps them pay their bills, stay in their homes, and support themselves and their families must be our first priority both in terms of our values and economic common sense” stated National Economic Advisor to President Obama and President Clinton, Gene Sperling

“Rather than pretending we know exactly what will happen in our economic future, the legislation smartly makes support and assistance contingent on what actually happens. This approach is long overdue” Jason Furman, Chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers said: “Expanded and extended unemployment insurance is the most important economic response to the crisis we are in today. It is critical that it continue as long as it is needed”

“With the economy in crisis, it is absolutely crucial that we build a better safety net for marginalized and low-income households. The Worker Relief and Security Act provides strongly-targeted support for the millions of families that have been impacted by COVID-19 and, most importantly, requires that support to continue until the economy recovers” Senior Advisor at Employ America Arnab Datta

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