The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: coronavirus relief

#EndorseThis: Trevor Noah Burns 'Bitch' Johnson Over (Failed) Stall Of Relief Bill

Americans are one step closer to getting much-needed pandemic relief-- no thanks to Republicans. In fact, one not only didn't vote for the bill but he also delayed it as long as he could.

That's right, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) took his pettiness to a new level, forcing Senate clerks to read all 628 pages of the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package.

Needless to say, this maneuver irritated people, especially Trevor Noah, who ripped the Republican "bitch" during his show last night. Even more hilarious is that Johnson's effort did nothing to delay the bill -- because Democratic senators outwitted him on the floor this morning and cut off debate while he was still asleep.

This won't be the last roasting of Johnson, whose seat is up next year. Enjoy!


West Virginia’s GOP Governor Urges Passage Of Biden's Covid-19 Relief Bill

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

West Virginia's Republican Gov. Jim Justice on Monday endorsed a large economic stimulus bill, arguing that federal lawmakers have "got to move" on legislation.

In an interview with CNN host Poppy Harlow, Justice said he sided with approving Biden's package over waiting for a "bipartisan bill" with less money, saying GOP efforts to trim down the bill were ill-timed.

"What we need to do is we need to understand that trying to be, per se, fiscally responsible at this point in time, with what we've got going on in this country ... if we actually throw away some money right now, so what?" Justice said.

"We have really got to move and get people taken care of," Justice said, saying he wants to work with the Biden administration on legislation.

President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Recent polling has shown strong bipartisan support — as high as 82 percent — for relief, which includes more help for small businesses and stimulus checks.

Congressional Republicans have been trying to significantly curtail the size of the relief bill. The Republican proposal would cut three months' worth of unemployment insurance from the Biden proposal and remove $400 per person in direct payments while considerably shrinking the number of households that would receive help.

In the interview, Justice cited "struggling" people in his state, noting that many cannot pay their electricity bills because "they've got laid off because this pandemic swept their job away from them."

Justice's comments echo those of President Joe Biden, who said on Friday, "We have learned from past crises the risk is not doing too much, the risk is not doing enough."

Justice governs an overwhelmingly Republican state that went 68 to 29 percent for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. He is a conservative who received Trump's endorsement in his 2020 race and supported his reelection.

From the Feb. 1 edition of CNN's "Newsroom":

POPPY HARLOW, CNN: Economic relief is critical for Americans right now, it's critical to your folks in West Virginia. You have been clear about your desire to support President Biden, to work across the aisle.
When it comes to this COVID relief bill, I wonder what is more important to the people of West Virginia and to you: that Biden's $1.9 trillion-dollar bill passes, even if it's without Republican support and through reconciliation, which would mean bigger checks to your folks in need, or that it's a bipartisan agreement even if it's less money?
JIM JUSTICE: Well, first and foremost I wish we'd all come together, and that's not blowing smoke, that's just – because I don't do that.
But, the other flip side of it is this, is, Poppy, we've got a lot of people in West Virginia that are still struggling with paying their power bill, because they've got laid off because this pandemic just swept their job away from them.
HARLOW: Right, so which one is it?
JUSTICE: I mean, at the end of the day, really and truly, Poppy, what we need to do is we need to understand that trying to be, per se, fiscally responsible at this point in time, with what we've got going on in this country, if we actually throw away some money right now, so what?
We have really got to move and get people taken care of, and get people back on balance, and I want to work with the Biden administration just like I worked with the Trump administration and I want us to move forward.
HARLOW: That's really significant, to hear from a Republican like yourself in a state where your Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, thinks these payments are not targeted enough. Have you talked to him about it?
JUSTICE: Well, you know, I have not talked directly to Joe about that and everything. I don't really know exactly what the thinking could possibly be there. I mean, we've got people that are really hurting. I mean, that's just all there is to it and on top of that — here's a perfect example, Poppy. My executive assistant came in the other day, and said not far from my home there was an elderly man that froze to death in his house and everything. Probably couldn't afford to pay the power bill.
There's so many different things where people are really, really hurting and today we've got to move, we can't hold back — we've got to move.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Finally Signs Pandemic Relief Bill After Weeks Of Cruel Stalling

On Sunday night President Trump finally signed legislation providing over $900 billion in pandemic relief and funding the government through next September, bringing an end to year-end turmoil that he and Republicans had cause over the bill that will offer assistance to millions of Americans and avert a shutdown.

The signing at Trump's Florida residence represented an abrupt reversal for the president, who had until yesterday seemed eager to kill the bill. He waited until two crucial unemployment programs had lapsed, which will lead to delayed benefits for as many as 14 million Americans.

Displaying his usual tone deafness, Trump teased his reversal on Twitter before actually signing the relief bill.

Trump still says he will push Congressional Republicans to approve a $2,000 stimulus check to all Americans who meet the government's income eligibility rules. Enough Republicans and Democrats agree on expanded aid to make that a possibility. He is also still demanding the repeal of Section 230, the federal law that protects Internet publishers from liability for content created by their users.

Super-Rich Sen. Johnson Thinks You’re Better Off Without A Relief Check

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Friday blocked a bill to include $1,200 direct payments to Americans as part of a new round of coronavirus relief, complaining it's too expensive and somehow unfair to people.

"We are mortgaging our children's future, without reforms, without targeting," he said, insisting it was better to deny desperately needed relief to Americans rather than add any more to the national debt.

Read Now Show less

‘Conservative’ Groups That Opposed Local And State Relief Took Millions In Federal Aid

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Conservative groups have long railed against government assistance, including even against economic stimulus during the coronavirus pandemic, but—surprise!—that hasn't stopped many of them from taking millions in the aid themselves, an analysis conducted as part of Accountable.US's project shows.

Back in May, a long list of right-wing groups signed a Conservative Action Project letter opposing "federally funded bailouts for states and local governments." At least eight of those groups were just fine with federally funded bailouts for their own bank accounts, though: They collectively took more than $2.25 million in CARES Act aid, with three taking money both from the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. (Disclosure: Kos Media received a Paycheck Protection Program loan, but wasn't a giant hypocrite about it.)

Read Now Show less

McConnell Says Providing More Relief To Working Families Isn’t ‘Appropriate’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday it was "appropriate" that his proposed coronavirus relief legislation would not include stimulus checks for millions of Americans.

When asked by reporters if his bill would include stimulus checks, McConnell said, "no it doesn't" and justified the omission, noting, "We thought about $500 billion was appropriate at this juncture."

Read Now Show less

WATCH: McConnell's  'Confederate Voldemort' Laugh About Covid Relief

Sen. Mitch McConnell laughed Monday night when the Democratic challenger for his Kentucky Senate seat, Amy McGrath, pointed out that as majority leader of the Senate, he has not passed needed relief for the millions of workers who lost their jobs in the economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

McGrath correctly pointed out that the Democratic-led House passed more relief for the millions of jobless back in May in a bill McConnell refused to put up for a vote in the Senate. Since then, McConnell has taken a back seat as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi negotiates with the White House, and he appears to be unable to bring together enough Senate Republicans to pass any kind of relief for those still out of work.

"Senator, it is a national crisis. You knew that the coronavirus wasn't going to end at the end of July. We knew this," McGrath said, as McConnell smiled and laughed. "If you want to call yourself a leader, you gotta get things done. Those of us who served in the Marines, we don't just point fingers at the other side, we get the job done."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Seems Badly Confused As He Quits Coronavirus Relief Talks

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As President Donald Trump continues the struggle to recover from his case of COVID-19, he sent entirely mixed messages on Tuesday that left some questioning whether he retained full control of his faculties.

First, Trump torpedoed negotiations with congressional Democrats over a potential stimulus bill on Tuesday afternoon, saying that he would wait until after the election until trying again. This was a major blow to his own hopes for re-election, but the move itself could be coherently explained on ideological or tactical grounds, even if they're not compelling or persuasive.

Read Now Show less