Pelosi on new aid package: ‘We’re close’

She said businesses will have their relief in a “timely fashion.”

Pelosi on new aid package: ‘We’re close’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers were very close to an agreement on more coronavirus aid, which includes replenishing a recently exhausted small business relief fund.

“We’re close,” Pelosi said in an intereview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “Again, we have common ground … I think we’re very close to agreement.”

The Small Business Administration on Thursday announced the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program wouldn’t accept any more applications, shutting out thousands of potential borrowers looking for aid during the pandemic.

Pelosi said businesses will have their relief in a “timely fashion,” but also noted, “We know that we have an opportunity and an urgency to do something for our hospitals, our teachers, and firefighters, and the rest right now. And then we are preparing for our next bill.”

Congress has faced pressure to pass PPP funding unanimously, as soon as possible. That pressure has mounted with reports that more than 22 million Americans have lost their jobs over four weeks. But Democrats want some of the money to be set aside for communities with few banking institutions. And they’ve pushed for more money for state governments, local governments and hospitals.

After a partisan standoff, said Saturday that notable progress had been made on brokering a tentative deal. The terms center on $250 billion or more for the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as roughly $75 billion for hospitals.

Over the last 48 hours, President Donald Trump drove home an attack in a series of tweets and retweets: Pelosi and “Do Nothing Democrats” have cost Americans jobs by blocking new PPP funds.

On Sunday, Pelosi brushed his comments aside: “I don’t pay that much attention to the president’s tweets against me. As I’ve said, he’s a poor leader. He’s always trying to avoid responsibility and assign blame.”

She called the president’s embrace of opening up the country quickly a distraction from the fact that Trump did not act appropriately on testing, treatment, contact tracing and quarantine.

Pelosi said everything Congress has done on pandemic relief, the three bills put forward in March, were bipartisan — and bipartisan is how things will stay.

She is open to the idea of proxy voting, a change suggested by House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) that would be temporary and likely only apply to emergency coronavirus legislation. Pelosi said there would need to be a vote to change House rules, which should also be done in a bipartisan fashion.

“We have a template. We’ve done it once. We can do it again.”

Source : Politico USA More   

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Poll: Majority fear coronavirus restrictions will be lifted too soon

More Americans are fearful that the pandemic will directly affect them.

Poll: Majority fear coronavirus restrictions will be lifted too soon

Almost 60 percent of American voters are worried that lifting restrictions too soon will lead to a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths.

According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday, 58 percent of registered voters expressed concern about a loosening of restrictions, as compared with 32 percent who worried that the restrictions would stay in place for too long. Three percent said they were concerned about both scenarios.

There were partisan divides on the topic, some of which have been reflected in recent protests around the nation in places like Ohio and Michigan. While a clear majority of Democrats (77 percent) and independents (57 percent) are more worried about the coronavirus, Republicans are very much divided on the issue— with 48 percent expressing more concern about the economy and 39 percent more worried about the pandemic. Different states, of course, have different restrictions, some much stricter than others.

The poll also indicated increased concern that the coronavirus would have a different personal impact: 33 percent said they were “very worried” that the coronavirus would strike someone within their own family, while an additional 40 percent said they were “somewhat worried.” Those numbers are up from 15 percent and 38 percent, respectively, in a poll released March 20.

A mere 3 percent said the pandemic had not any impact on their lives, compared with 77 percent who said it had affected them either in “a very major way” or “a fairly major way.”

President Donald Trump’s approval rating was 46 percent, with 51 percent saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing. Those numbers are unchanged from last month’s poll and consistent with his numbers in the NBC/WSJ polls this year.

Those polled also said they favor presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden over Trump by margin of 49-42. And 45 percent of those polled said they believed that Trump has not handled the pandemic crisis well — and is still not doing so.

The poll also expressed limited trust in what the president has had to say about the ongoing health crisis, particularly in relation to other authorities.

More than two-thirds of those polled (69 percent) said they trusted the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to provide accurate information about the coronavirus, followed by their state’s governor (66%), Dr. Anthony Fauci (60%), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (46%), Trump (36%), Vice President Mike Pence (35%) and Biden (26%).

A total of 52 percent said they distrusted what Trump has to say on the subject, followed by Pence (37%) and Biden (29%). A mere 8 percent said they did not trust Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The poll was conducted April 13-15 of 900 registered voters, and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.3 percentage points.

Source : Politico USA More   

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