Connect with us


IPL 2020 Update: Will Talk to the Right People & Decide Before Taking a Call on Travelling, Says Trent Boult

New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult has said he will talk to the right people before taking a call on travelling for the Indian Premier League (IPL) amid the COVID-19 scare.



IPL 2020 Update

Auckland, July 21: New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult has said he will talk to the right people before taking a call on travelling for the Premier League (IPL) amid the COVID-19 scare.

The postponement of the T20 World Cup has paved the way for IPL to take place this year. The IPL was initially postponed from March due to the health crisis.

“I’ve lots of whispers that it is happening in this or that window, that it’s happening in (New Zealand), things seem to be changing almost every week but it’s just one of those things that I will have to let unfold,” Boult was quoted as saying by New Zealand portal 1 News. IPL 2020 : BCCI Waiting for Government Approval for Conducting Indian Premier League 13.

“I’ll talk to the right people and then make that decision on what’s best for me, best for my cricket and obviously what’s best for my young family…there’s obviously a couple of other New Zealanders involved in that tournament — but it’s just going to have to be one of those ‘ will tell’ kind of things,” said the 30-year old who will turn out for Mumbai Indians this season.

“I want to be out there playing and doing the things that I know how to do …but it still looks like it’s going to be a while before crowds are screaming at us and being right behind us but I can’t wait as it’s been a long time between — no-one wants to be stuck inside a tent in the middle of winter training,” opined Boult as quoted by

Charles recently joined the team, and he writes for the Headline column of the website. He has done major in English, and a having a diploma in Journalism. He has worked for more than 1.5 years in a media house. Now, he joined our team as a contributor for covering the latest US headlines. He is smart both by him looks and nature. He is very good with everyone in the team.


Any appropriate disciplinary action is a matter not only of the Constitution and law, but also of fact,” the California Democrat wrote.



Washington (CNN)Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren has quietly posted a nearly 2,000-page report documenting social media posts by her Republican colleagues who voted against certifying results of the presidential election on January 6. The information compiled isn’t secret, but the report is another sign of the deep distrust that has settled into the US Capitol the weeks since the insurrection.

The report chronicles the social media activity of members on public forums immediately before the November election and right after the January 6 riot. The report has been online for a week.
CNN reported earlier Thursday that federal investigators are examining records of communications between members of Congress and the pro-Trump mob that attacked the Capitol, as the investigation moves closer to exploring whether lawmakers wittingly or unwittingly helped the insurrectionists.
In a preamble to the report, Lofgren — the chair of the House Administration Committee — wrote that she had asked her staff to pull the relevant social media posts and compile them in an effort to gather facts.
“Any appropriate disciplinary action is a matter not only of the Constitution and law, but also of fact,” the California Democrat wrote. “Many of former President Trump’s false statements were made in very public settings. Had Members made similar public statements in the weeks and months before the January 6th attack? Statements which are readily available in the public arena may be part of any consideration of Congress’ constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities.”
Lofgren continued, “Accordingly, I asked my staff to take a quick look at public social media posts of Members who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.”
Tensions have risen within the Capitol since the January attack. A House floor that once was deemed impenetrable has been surrounded by metal detectors, while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has said that “the enemy is within” the House, referencing the rhetoric and behavior of some Republican members of Congress.
“Like former President Trump, any elected Member of Congress who aided and abetted the insurrection or incited the attack seriously threatened our democratic government. They would have betrayed their oath of office and would be implicated in the same constitutional provision cited in the Article of Impeachment,” Lofgren wrote in her foreword to the report. “That provision prohibits any person who has previously taken an oath as a member of Congress to support the Constitution but subsequently engaged in insurrection or rebellion from serving in Congress.”
The report features a collection of social media posts and tweets that span dozens of pages from Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar where he urges supporters to “hold the line,” days before what would become the Capitol insurrection. In another social media post in the report, Gosar wrote that “sedition and treason for stealing votes is appropriate.”
The report also captures numerous tweets where Gosar invoked @ali on Twitter, which was formerly the account used by Ali Alexander, a leader of the “Stop the Steal” group, who said in several Periscope livestream videos that he planned the rally that preceded the riot in conjunction with Gosar and two other congressional Republicans, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Andy Biggs of Arizona.
CNN has reached out to Gosar’s office for comment.


(CNN)France said Friday it may follow Italy in blocking Covid-19 vaccine shipments as concerns about vaccine nationalism rise.

The comments by French Health Minister Olivier Véran came the day after Rome invoked European Union powers to block the export of 250,000 Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Australia, in a dramatic escalation of a dispute between the bloc and the drug giant.
“Of course, I understand what Italy did,” Véran said during an interview with CNN affiliate BFM on Friday. “We could do the same thing.”

AstraZeneca's vaccine contract with the UK is based on 'best efforts,' just like its deal with a frustrated EU

AstraZeneca’s vaccine contract with the UK is based on ‘best efforts,’ just like its deal with a frustrated EU
A spokesperson for Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told CNN that Italy and the European Commission had agreed on the action. This is the first time that such EU measures have been used for vaccines. AstraZeneca’s supply chain includes a manufacturing plant in Anagni, Italy.
“We are closely discussing with Italians, as well as with all our European partners to have a European approach on the issue.” Véran said.
“Since the first day, France has believed in a shared European approach,” he added.
In late January, a public and acrimonious fight erupted between the EU and AstraZeneca over vaccine delays, after the company advised the bloc that it would deliver tens of millions fewer doses than agreed by the end of March.
The European Commission later adopted new measures giving member states the power to restrict the export of vaccines outside the bloc, in certain situations. Italy justified invoking the powers by citing AstraZeneca’s delays in supplying its vaccine to Italy and the EU, and noting that Australia is not considered a “vulnerable” nation to Covid-19 by the EU.
“The message is very clearly … that we expect companies with which the European Union has signed advanced purchasing agreements, to do their utmost to comply with the contracts with the delivery contracts that they have with the with the Member States,” Eric Mamer, the European Union’s chief spokesperson, said Friday.
He added: “The fact is that the European Union (EU) is a major exporter of vaccine doses.”
“We have always said, that we were actually in intense discussions with the company in order to ensure the respect of the schedule of deliveries because EMA has authorized this vaccine, and we are urging member states to use it.”

A nurse prepares to administer the first Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in the northern French town of Dunkirk on February 17.

The European Commission’s executive vice president for trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, discussed the matter with his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan in a call on Friday.
“While we understand the political pressures at play within Europe, blocking exports to meet domestic vaccination targets is a very dangerous card for policymakers to play,” John Denton, the secretary general of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) warned in a statement Thursday.
He added: “The challenge of getting vaccines to everyone, everywhere — without delay — will only be through a collaborative global effort to scale manufacturing and speed distribution efforts. It’s not too late for governments to change course and avert the huge economic and social risks of a prolonged pandemic.”
Véran’s remarks come a day after France announced to accelerate the country’s coronavirus vaccine rollout program, with an increase in deliveries expected, according to French PM Jean Castex.
“The delivery of doses to France will increase in the coming weeks,” Castex said during a press briefing on Thursday.
“We will also be able to use the AstraZeneca vaccine more widely. The High Authority for Health has indicated that people over 65 are now for this vaccine,” Castex added, noting that the government aims to vaccinate more than 20 million people by mid-May.
The EU’s vaccine rollout has continued to falter, pushing some increasingly frustrated member states to turn to outside nations for assistance. Only 5.5% of the EU population of 447 million has received a first vaccine dose, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

A woman enters a truck to receive a dose of Covid-19 vaccine outside her residential building in the Paris suburb of Stains on March 2.

Castex warned that only one in three health care workers in France have so far received a vaccine and said hospitals across the country are “still under strong pressure.”
Véran was also present at Thursday’s press briefing. “We have effective vaccines, starting with AstraZeneca. It is our responsibility to protect ourselves and those we care for,” he said.

Continue Reading


Beth Garvey, the governor’s special counsel and senior adviser, said that the “out of facility data was omitted after DOH could not confirm it had been adequately verified



New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “needs to go to jail” for underreporting coronavirus-related nursing home deaths, Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean said on Friday.

“We knew that he was covering up the numbers and now we’re getting more and more information and facts that this is true,” Dean told “Fox & Friends.”

Dean said that “Melissa DeRosa, his top aide, was in on it to help Cuomo cover up the numbers, to downplay them.”

“She was the one in that Democratic lawmaker meeting behind closed doors, apologizing to Democratic lawmakers: ‘I’m so sorry we kept this information from you. We were afraid of the DOJ investigation.’”


Top advisers to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo influenced state health officials to remove data from a public report that showed coronavirus-related nursing-home deaths in the state had exceeded numbers previously acknowledged by the administration, a bombshell report says.

Details about the July report were disclosed night in a story first published by The Wall Street Journal. The final report focused only on nursing-home residents who died inside those facilities and did not include nursing-home residents who were transferred to hospitals after becoming sick, the Journal reported.

That means the state’s reported tally of 6,432 nursing-home resident deaths was significantly lower than the actual nursing-home death toll, sources with knowledge of the state report’s preparation told the newspaper.

Some top aides for New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo allegedly rewrote a June nursing home report from state health officials to hide the higher Covid-19 death toll among the state’s nursing home residents, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported Thursday night.

In its reporting, the New York Times cites documents and interviews with six people with direct knowledge of the discussions who requested anonymity.

Both the Times and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that some of Cuomo’s senior aides were involved in rewriting the report to lower the death toll in nursing homes, cutting it by nearly half.
The controversy stems from a report last summer from the state’s health department focusing on Covid deaths in long-term care facilities.

NY Attorney General Letitia James takes charge of Andrew Cuomo probe
NY Attorney General Letitia James takes charge of Andrew Cuomo probe

The original report — which was not public at the time — listed the number of nursing home deaths at nearly 10,000, according to the Journal. But it was later revealed in a state attorney general investigation that the state was not counting nursing home deaths if those people had been transferred to hospitals as their conditions worsened — and died there.–161896434/–161897674/–161896434/–161897674/

Beth Garvey, the ’s special counsel and senior adviser, said that the “out of facility data was omitted after DOH could not confirm it had been adequately verified.”
“This did not change the conclusion of the report, which was and is that the March 25 order was ‘not a driver of nursing home infections or fatalities,'” Garvey said in a statement Thursday provided to the Times, CNN and other media outlets, referring to a directive requiring the readmission of residents recovering from Covid-19 into nursing homes.
The reported involvement of Cuomo’s aides demonstrates how far the governor’s office appears to have gone to obscure damaging data to maintain his reputation of a leader during the pandemic. Cuomo now faces accusations of a cover-up, bipartisan calls for an investigation and limitations on his executive powers.
In addition, he is simultaneously facing calls for his resignation following two allegations of sexual harassment and an accusation that he made unwanted advances on another woman at a 2019 wedding. Cuomo has denied any intentional wrongdoing and apologized, saying, “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable.”

The alleged intervention by Cuomo’s office in June is the earliest action currently known to delay the release of the data of nursing home deaths and happened as the Democratic governor was starting to write a book about his experience leading New York through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Times reported.
Cuomo apologizes, says he didn’t know he was making women uncomfortable and rejects calls to resign
Cuomo apologizes, says he didn’t know he was making women uncomfortable and rejects calls to resign
State Attorney General Letitia James issued a report in late January finding that the New York State

Department of Health undercounted Covid-19 deaths among residents of nursing homes by approximately 50%, essentially by leaving out deaths of residents who had been transferred to hospitals.
But the report also said the overall number of deaths did not change.

The attorney general also found that some nursing homes throughout the state failed to take proper infection control measures and did not isolate Covid-19 patients in nursing homes. Some nursing homes did not report Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes to the Department of Health, according to the report, and in one facility alone, underreported by as many as 29 deaths.
The Department of Health’s March 25 directive “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities,” the report found. Cuomo has said he was following federal guidelines, which said that with a doctor’s consent, Covid-19 patients could be returned to nursing homes if nursing homes were equipped to safely handle patients.

In February, his top aide Melissa DeRosa admitted in a call with state lawmakers that the Cuomo administration delayed the release of Covid-19 deaths in long-term care facilities over concerns about a Justice Department preliminary inquiry into their handling of the virus in nursing homes, at a time when former President Donald Trump was attacking Cuomo.
During a news conference a few days later, Cuomo claimed that the Department of Health had “paused” state lawmakers’ request for the Covid-19 death data because his administration chose to focus on the DOJ inquiry and deal with the immediate pandemic crisis.
Cuomo has said he regrets the way this was handled and should have done a better job in handling the information.

“I accept responsibility for that. I am in charge. I take responsibility,” he said last month.
“We should have provided more information faster. We were too focused on doing the job and addressing the crisis of the moment,” he said.
The Times reported, however, that Cuomo’s aides were fighting with top health officials about the nursing home data and concealing the numbers months before the Justice Department in August requested Covid-19 information from New York and three other Democratic-led states.
The changes to the 33-page report that Cuomo’s aides pushed for resulted in a bitter conflict with the health officials who worked on the summary, according to the Times.

The Department of Health showed the death toll about 50% higher than the figure being cited publicly at the time by the Cuomo administration.

In February, Health officials released data showing more than 15,000 confirmed and presumed Covid-19 deaths among New York nursing homes and other adult care facilities, such as assisted living residences. The publicly available death toll was roughly more than 8,700 before the state publicly released data on deaths of residents who died after being transported out of a facility.
“COVID Task Force officials did not request that the report conclude the March 25 order played no role; in fact Task Force Members, knowing the report needed to withstand rigorous public scrutiny were very cautious to not overstate the statistical analysis in the report. Overall, ensuring public confidence in the conclusion was the ultimate goal of DOH and the COVID Task Force in issuing the report,” Garvey said.

Her statement did not address the Times’ reporting about friction between the Covid-19 task force and Department of Health health officials.

But New York Department of Health spokesperson Gary Holmes said that the June report was a “collaborative process” between the Department of Health and the Covid-19 task force, and that the report’s purpose was to “ensure the public had a clear non-political evaluation for how COVID entered nursing homes at the height of the pandemic.”

“DOH was comfortable with the final report and believes fully in its conclusion that the primary driver that introduced COVID into the nursing homes was spread brought in by staff,” Holmes said in a statement Thursday.

“While early versions of the report included out of facility deaths, the COVID task force was not satisfied that the data had been verified against hospital data and so the final report used only data for in facility deaths, which was disclosed in the report. While the out of facility deaths were held aside for verification, the conclusions were supported by both data sets. ”
He claimed that the report establishes that the Department of Health’s March 25 advisory “was not a driver of nursing home deaths.”

Regarding his book and the timing of the Health Department’s report, Cuomo said he “referred to the July Department of Health report saying it showed the virus was brought in by staff before we knew of asymptomatic spread. That has been proven even more accurate over time.”

State officials now place the nursing-home and long-term-care facility death toll in New York at more than 15,000 residents, the Journal reported. The number represents deaths since March 2020 of residents confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus or presumed to have contracted it, the report said.


Janice Dean: Cuomo and aides ‘should go to jail’ for nursing home death cover-upVideo
Dean, whose in-laws died of COVID-19 in New York long-term care facilities, said, “They have never apologized to the families, 15,000 families that deserve an apology. The only thing this governor is going to be sorry for is the fact that he got caught. And you know what? He needs to go to jail and all of those around him. There is no ifs, and’s or but’s here.”

Cuomo has defended his administration’s actions regarding the nursing-home deaths, saying state officials had followed federal guidance and worked to manage hospital capacity as the virus spread, the Journal reported.

Continue Reading


ohnson told reporters he was forcing the bill’s reading to “shine the light on this abusive and obscene amount of money



Democrats agreed Friday to pare back emergency jobless but extend them for an extra month, bidding to solidify support as the Senate approached a voting marathon on a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

The deal came as the chamber worked toward approving a final version of the massive package, probably over the weekend, of President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority. That would give the House time to approve the legislation and whisk it to Biden for his signature.

First, the Senate was preparing to on a mountain of amendments, mostly by GOP opponents. Virtually all are destined to fail but are designed to force Democrats to take politically awkward votes.

Among them, though, was a Democratic plan that was expected to pass that would trim the House bill’s $400 weekly emergency benefits.

Under the compromise, those payments — payable on top of regular state benefits — would be reduced to $300, but run an extra month through September. Taxes also would be reduced on unemployment benefits. A Senate Democratic aide provided details of the deal on condition of anonymity to describe private talks.

Biden and Senate leaders had agreed Wednesday to retain the House bill’s higher $400 version. The reduction to $300 seemed to reflect a need to secure support for the overall bill, particularly from moderate Democrats.

Republicans are attacking the bill as a liberal -fest that ignores that growing numbers of vaccinations and signs of a stirring economy suggest that the twin crises are easing.

“Our country is already set for a roaring recovery,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in part citing an unexpectedly strong report on job creation. “Democrats inherited a tide that was already turning.”

Democrats reject that, citing the 10 million jobs the economy has lost during the pandemic and numerous people still struggling to buy food and pay rent.

Pope Francis has touched down in Iraq for the first-ever papal visit to the predominantly Muslim country, beginning a four-day visit in Baghdad, where yellow and white Vatican flags and likenesses of the pontiff flutter above hastily weeded traffic circles.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi welcomed Francis at Baghdad International Airport. He was greeted with fanfare as he stepped onto the red carpet, and then by a choir as he entered the airport.

Crowds of people waved Iraqi and Vatican flags as he passed on his way to sit and speak with the prime minister in a reception area of the airport. The conversation was not broadcast. As Francis left the airport, he passed people dancing and singing, few of whom were wearing masks.

The pope is set to cross the capital to the presidential palace and meet President Barham Saleh later Friday.

Meeting with Iraqi Christians

During the trip, Francis will meet leaders from Iraq’s dwindling Christian community and hold an inter-religious meeting at the ancient site of Ur, traditional birthplace of the biblical Abraham, revered by three faiths as the founder of monotheism.
Article continues after sponsor message

On Saturday, Francis will be hosted by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the leader of Iraq’s Shiite Muslims. Sunday will see him travel to the north of the country, including to Mosul, and lead prayers in areas retaken from Islamic State extremists.

“I come as a pilgrim, as a penitent pilgrim to implore forgiveness and reconciliation from the Lord after years of war and terrorism,” he said in a video message before the trip. “To ask God for the consolation of hearts and the healing of wounds.”–161891080/–161891582/–161891080/–161891582/ 

For Iraqi Christians, who trace their history almost back to the time of Jesus, the visit is long-awaited. Pope John Paul II had wanted to visit Iraq in 2000, but negotiations with former dictator Saddam Hussein fell through.

“It is a happiness and a blessing,” says Tony Fawzi, a day-laborer, after attending at a Chaldean Catholic church recently in Baghdad. “And it is not only a visit to Christians but to Iraq in general.”

“Working quickly” to prepare

Church leaders have been preparing intensely for the visit, particularly in the town of Qaraqosh, near Mosul, where a Syriac Catholic church was among those burned and gutted in 2014 when militants from ISIS blazed through the Nineveh Plains.

“We started rebuilding the church in the end of 2019,” says Rev. Ammar Yako, of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh. They had hoped to finish the renovation in time for Easter Mass this year, “but when we hear that the pope will visit Iraq, especially this church, we start working quickly to finish it,” he says.

“Really now the church, it’s so beautiful,” he says. “And the first one to pray in it after the renovation will be the Holy Father.”

Yako says a few years ago he could never have imagined such a thing. After the town was retaken from ISIS in 2017, the houses were charred shells and the people were gone. Now, a little under half the residents are back, he says, and maybe the papal visit will inspire more to return.

“This is what we hope that this visit will give us in the future,” he says.

Private audience with Sistani

In Najaf, by contrast, the pope’s meeting with Sistani will be a private audience in the reclusive cleric’s modest home, which for decades he has rarely left.

The visit is considered historic by the clerical establishment in Najaf, says Hayder al-Khoei, director of international relations at an institute run by his family. His grandfather, Grand Ayatollah Abulqasim al-Khoei, was Sistani’s predecessor and teacher.

“Both the Shiite Islamic establishment and the Catholic Church have consistently condemned violence being committed in the name of religion,” says Khoei. “And I think that’s one thing that will be a topic discussed between the pope and Sistani.”

That comment was a direct departure from last week when Biden told a virtual gathering of governors that his administration is “changing the attitude a little bit about how we deal with one another.”

Tony Fratto, who was a deputy press secretary to former President George W. Bush, said he’s sure Biden would take that remark back, if he could.

“No question, it was the wrong language,” said Fratto, who is otherwise complimentary of how Biden has handled the issue.

Biden is also being pressed on what he’s doing to try to either convince states to stick with pandemic restrictions or to work around governors.

As a candidate, Biden promised that if the governors wouldn’t listen to him, then: “I go to every mayor, I go to every councilman, I go to every local official, say, mandate the mask, man – say, this is what you have to do when you’re out. Make sure you encourage it being done.”

The White House insists Biden has been doing that, through the administration’s regular calls with governors, frequent public comments and other actions that have included a public service announcement at the start of the Super Bowl. (First lady Jill Biden did a separate PSA on mask wearing with White House dogs, Major and Champ, for the Puppy Bowl.)
First Lady Jill Biden encouraged people to wear masks when walking their pets in a PSA that will air during the Puppy Bowl.

“We are going to continue to use every method of the bully pulpit at our disposal to convey directly to people … that mask wearing, social distancing, getting access to the vaccine is the path to go back to normal,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday.

He adds that, as it happens, he has met both men. “And it’s striking how similar their personalities are. So even as individuals, in terms of their calmness, their piety, they’re going to see eye to eye on a personal level, not just philosophical.”

The visit is going ahead despite a recent uptick in rocket attacks on bases and the U.S. Embassy, which American officials have blamed on Iran-backed militias. U.S. airstrikes hit buildings used by those militias just over the border in Syria last week, killing one militant.

Public health experts have raised concerns about the visit’s timing: vaccinations against COVID-19 are just beginning in Iraq, and case numbers have ticked up sharply in recent weeks.

Officials insist social distancing measures will be in place at all events, but some are likely to involve large numbers of people. The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Irbil, the Most Rev. Bashar Warda, tweeted that 10,000 people will attend a Mass on Sunday, in a stadium that can hold 40,000.

“If you just look at a big number you say, ‘Oh, everything’s getting a little better,’” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “It’s not for the lower half of America. It’s not.”

In an encouraging sign for Biden, a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 70% of Americans support his handling of the pandemic, including a noteworthy 44% of Republicans.

Moments after the Senate took up the legislation Thursday, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., forced the chamber’s clerks to read aloud the entire 628-page measure. The exhausting task took the staffers 10 hours and 44 minutes and ended shortly after 2 a.m. EST, with Johnson alternately sitting at his desk and pacing around the mostly empty chamber.

Democratic leaders made more than a dozen late additions to their package on Thursday. That reflected their need to cement unanimous support from all their senators — plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — to succeed in the precariously divided 50-50 chamber.

The Senate’s 51-50 vote to start debating the package, with Harris pushing Democrats over the top, underscored how they were navigating the package through Congress with virtually no margin for error. In the House their majority is a scrawny 10 votes.

The bill, aimed at battling the killer virus and nursing the staggered economy back to health, will provide direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans. There’s also money for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, aid to state and local governments, help for schools and the airline industry, tax breaks for lower-earners and families with children, and subsidies for health insurance.

The new provisions offered items appealing to all manner of Democrats. Progressives got money boosting feeding programs, federal subsidies for health care for workers who lose jobs, tax-free student loans, and money for public broadcasting and consumer protection investigations.

Moderates won funds for rural health care, language assuring minimum amounts of money for smaller states and a prohibition on states receiving aid using the windfalls to cut taxes. And for everyone, there was money for infrastructure, cultural venues, start-up companies and afterschool programs.

The late changes left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the task of keeping her chamber’s numerous progressives on board. Liberals already suffered a blow when their No. 1 priority — a federal minimum wage increase to $15 hourly that was included in the House package — was booted from the bill in the Senate for violating the chamber’s rules and for lack of moderates’ support.

In another bargain that satisfied moderates, Biden and Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday to tighten eligibility for the direct checks to individuals. The new provision completely phases out the $1,400 payments for individuals earning at least $80,000 and couples making $160,000, well lower than the ceilings.

Congress wants to send the bill to Biden before March 14, when a previous round of emergency benefits for people tossed out of work by the pandemic expires.

Johnson told reporters he was forcing the bill’s reading to “shine the light on this abusive and obscene amount of money. ” Schumer Friday morning praised the staffers who worked late as “the unsung heroes of this place” and said of Johnson, “I hope he enjoyed his Thursday evening.”

The economic recovery began to stall late last year as the virus surged, causing a shortfall in hiring in recent months. The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added 379,000 jobs last month, indicating unexpected strength as virus cases fall and consumers boost spending but still leaving a long way for the country’s job market fully recovers.

Continue Reading


Recent Posts