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Lawmakers Race to Approve Additional Coronavirus Funding for Struggling Americans

Less than two weeks after U.S. lawmakers passed the largest economic relief package in the country’s history, Congress is set to advance even more funding Thursday to help struggling American workers. The measure would provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a $350 billion program that is part of the broader Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act.That $2.2 trillion rescue package was quickly written and passed by Congress late last month, as businesses nationwide dealt with the economic fallout of coronavirus stay-at-home orders.The temporary closure of millions of businesses triggered historic levels of unemployment, with nearly 10 million Americans filing assistance claims in a two-week span in March. That marked the worst period for unemployment filings since 1982. Many analysts predict those numbers could soon reach levels last seen in the United States during the Great Depression in the 1930s.FILE – In this image from video, the final vote of 96-0 shows passage of the $2.2 trillion economic rescue package in response to coronavirus pandemic, passed by the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 25, 2020.The CARES Act gives federal unemployment benefits of $600 a week to laid-off and out-of-work Americans in addition to state unemployment benefits. The new bills also make benefits available for the first time to the self-employed and small-business owners. The PPP gives loans to small businesses to cover their payroll and expenses during the economic slowdown. According to the White House, the Small Business Administration has awarded over 220,000 loans totaling $66 billion as of April 7, just five days into availability of the program. In a request to Congress, the White House asked lawmakers for an increase of $251 billion for the program.”It is quickly becoming clear that Congress will need to provide more funding, or this crucial program may run dry,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Tuesday. “That cannot happen. Nearly 10 million Americans filed for unemployment in just the last two weeks. This is already a record-shattering tragedy, and every day counts.”The program had a rocky rollout when it opened for applications last Friday. Many business owners were deemed ineligible to apply because their business banks were not on the list of lenders participating in the government program. Others reported long hold times to obtain information on applications that had been quickly written to encompass a rapidly changing situation.In a joint statement Wednesday, congressional Democrats appeared to support the increase, while calling for some of that new funding to be directed to women, minority and veteran-owned businesses.”As Democrats have said since day one, Congress must provide additional relief for small businesses and families, building on the strong down payment made in the bipartisan CARES Act,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.FILE – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks during a news conference, on Capitol Hill, Feb.11, 2020.The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the increase Thursday, using fast-track procedures that would pass the measure without requiring most senators to fly back to Washington. The legislation would then move to the House of Representatives for a likely vote on Friday.Republican Congressman Thomas Massie has already tweeted concerns about fast-tracking the legislation in the House. He voiced similar objections to the CARES Act vote last month, forcing many members to fly back to Washington to establish the necessary numbers to overcome his objection.But there appears to be bipartisan consensus to move quickly on the increases and get the legislation to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.”We have days, NOT weeks to address this,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the co-sponsors of the PPP legislation, tweeted Tuesday.  The fear that #PPP will run out of money is creating tremendous anxiety among #SmallBusiness. We have days, NOT weeks to address this. We are working with @USTreasury to make a formal request for additional funds ASAP & with Senate leadership to get fast track vote ASAP.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 7, 2020 Negotiations on a second-round economic relief package are already under way, with lawmakers set to return to session on Capitol Hill on April 20.Pelosi initially proposed legislation heavy on infrastructure initiatives that would address broader problems exposed by the coronavirus outbreak — failures in broadband technology and the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. But that approach did not gain sufficient traction.Democrats will likely ask for another round of direct payments to Americans, even as the first $1,200 payments to many lower- and middle-class Americans are set to be distributed through April. A proposal for vote-by-mail is also likely to receive a renewed push following criticism of Tuesday’s primary election in Wisconsin, the first state to hold in-person elections since coronavirus stay-at-home orders went into effect.In a press call with reporters Tuesday, Schumer also called for $25,000 pay increases for essential emergency and health care workers fighting the coronavirus.”No proposal will be complete without addressing the need for essential workers,” Schumer said. 
 



Trump Assails Push for Mail-In Voting

U.S. President Donald Trump is waging a new political fight against the adoption of mail-in voting rights throughout the U.S., claiming it is rife with possible fraud and would significantly benefit opposition Democrats.Trump himself recently requested an absentee ballot to vote in the Republican presidential primary in Florida, the Atlantic coastal state he now claims as his official home after spending his entire life as a New York resident.But he said on Twitter on Wednesday, “Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting.”“Democrats are clamoring for it,” he said. “Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans. FILE – Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during the 11th Democratic candidates debate, held in CNN’s Washington studios, March 15, 2020.Democrats have long voiced support for expansion of the electorate through mail-in voting, on the theory that given an easier option to vote other than showing up at polling stations on Election Day, more people would cast ballots.  It also would likely help more Democrats win office.  Some polling over the years has suggested Republican voters are more committed than Democrats to showing up at polling places and thus as a group do not necessarily need the added possibility of voting by mail.  Trump claims that if mail-in voting becomes the dominant way to vote, “You’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”In fact, voting by mail already plays an important role in some U.S. elections, but not nationwide and not just in Democratic-leaning states. Can Vote-by-Mail Save US Elections From Coronavirus?COVID-19 could reshape the way Americans practice democracyThe National Vote at Home Institute says that in the western part of the country, 69 percent of ballots are already cast by mail, but only 27 percent nationwide.The western part of the country includes the deeply conservative state of Utah, which votes heavily for Republicans, and has moved almost entirely to vote-by-mail in recent years. The Republican secretary of state in the northwestern state of Washington also champions mail-in voting.Democrats failed in their efforts to include financial assistance for states to adopt mail-in voting as it recently approved a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package.  Republicans in Washington remain adamantly opposed, citing security concerns and objecting to transforming election laws as part of the coronavirus aid measure.Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline. Embed” />CopyNow, one Democratic activist, Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, said, “With the insanity of Wisconsin, Democrats have the proof they need to make this a mandate for November.”She urged Democrats to ensure vote-by-mail becomes a possibility throughout the country as a “fallback” in the event the virus limits people from voting in person.Trump pointedly expressed his opposition to mail-in voting at his Tuesday coronavirus news conference, particularly if some activists collect the votes of many people rather than people mailing in their ballots themselves.  “Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country, cause they’re cheaters,” he said. “They go and collect them, they’re fraudulent in many cases. You gotta vote. And they should have voter ID, by the way, you want to really do it right, you have voter ID.” 



Мін’юст: під час карантину документи на шлюб чи розлучення можна подати онлайн

Під час карантину українці можуть подати документи на шлюб чи розлучення онлайн. Про це повідомили у Міністерстві юстиції України.

«Громадяни мають можливість, не відвідуючи відповідні відділи, подавати документи з питань державної реєстрації шлюбу/розірвання шлюбу, а також отримувати консультацій з цих та інших питань через мережу Інтернет з використанням вебпорталу «Звернення у сфері ДРАЦС», – мовиться у повідомленні.

У міністерстві нагадали, що в умовах карантину працівники відділів ДРАЦС продовжують надавати послуги громадянам. Зокрема, з часу введення карантину шлюб уклали 5 138 пар, розлучилися – 1 753.

12 березня в Україні розпочався карантин через загрозу епідемії коронавірусної інфекції і щоб не допустити її поширення. Він мав тривати до 3 квітня, однак згодом уряд продовжив його ще на три тижні – до 24 квітня.

Із 6 квітня в Україні Кабінет міністрів запровадив жорсткіші правила карантину: у громадських місцях не можна перебувати без маски чи респіратора на обличчі, ходити групами більше ніж по двоє та відвідувати парки, сквери або ж прибережні зони.



Від початку доби бойовики 7 разів порушили режим тиші, одного військового поранено – штаб

Від початку поточної доби, 8 квітня, бойовики на Донбасі сім разів порушили режим припинення вогню, тричі – із не відведених за Мінськими домовленостями мінометів калібрів 120 мм і 82 мм. Про це повідомили у штабі операції Об’єднаних сил.

«Під час обстрілів окупанти також застосували проти українських захисників гранатомети різних систем, великокаліберні кулемети та стрілецьку зброю. Завдяки рішучим діям Об’єднані сили вчасно припинили усі ворожі провокації», – мовиться у повідомленні.

Внаслідок обстрілів одного українського військового поранено.

 

У незаконному збройному угрупованні «ДНР» заявили про нібито один обстріл збоку ЗСУ. У аналогічному угрупованні «ЛНР» не звітують про перебіг бойових дій протягом доби.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці».

За даними ООН, від березня 2014-го до 31 жовтня 2019 року внаслідок збройного конфлікту на Донбасі загинули 13 000 – 13 200 людей.



“Тучные времена” закончились: россия превращается в венесуэлу – сделка с ОПЕК+ уже не спасет…

“Тучные времена” закончились: россия превращается в венесуэлу – сделка с ОПЕК+ уже не спасет…

Растерянность “сверхдержавы”: крупнейшая в мире нефтяная сделка уже не спасет цены на нефть…
 

 
 
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Контрабандні пістолети та металобрухт на 1,7 мільйона $ від підлеглих авакова

Контрабандні пістолети та металобрухт на 1,7 мільйона $ від підлеглих авакова.

Міністр аваков контролює збройний завод Форт. І цей завод (та і сам аваков) потрапили у 2 гучних скандали, один з яких – міжнародний.

Блог про українську політику та актуальні події в нашій країні
 

 
 
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або на email: pravdaua@email.cz
 
 
Найкращі пропозиції товарів і послуг в Мережі Купуй!
 



Товстозадий смердюх коломойський проти України!

Товстозадий смердюх коломойський проти України!
 

 
 
Для поширення вашого відео чи повідомлення в Мережі Правди пишіть сюди,
або на email: pravdaua@email.cz
 
 
Найкращі пропозиції товарів і послуг в Мережі Купуй!
 



Black Voters Weigh History, Health As They Vote in Wisconsin

After going to sleep angry and afraid to vote, Xavier Thomas woke up on Election Day in Wisconsin thinking about how hard black people had to fight for the right to cast a ballot.He didn’t want to be deterred despite the coronavirus pandemic and the government’s failure to get him an absentee ballot in time.”We had to be willing to die to get our vote, and the same thing is happening right now,” said Thomas, a 33-year-old director of youth ministry at a Milwaukee church.Across Wisconsin on Tuesday, voters had an impossible decision to make: whether to risk their health and possibly their lives to cast a ballot, or stay away and miss exercising a fundamental right of democracy. The conservative-learning state Supreme Court declined to delay the election, despite a statewide order from the Democratic governor telling people to stay home and avoid crowds to contain the spread of the highly infectious disease.Going forward with the election was especially problematic in the state’s largest city, Milwaukee, where roughly 4 in 10 residents are black. The city of 590,000 has suffered roughly half the state’s coronavirus deaths, many of them minorities. Officials closed all but five of the city’s 180 polling places, forcing thousands of voters to congregate at only a handful of voting sites.Vanessa Wroten-Gassama waited for two hours to cast her ballot at Washington High School in the Sherman Park neighborhood, a predominantly black community where rioting broke out in 2016 over a fatal shooting by police.  The wait was particularly difficult for her because she has a variety of health problems, including the need for dialysis.
“A lot of people aren’t going to go vote, especially the elderly,” said the 59-year-old, who wore a mask and gloves. “A lot of people aren’t going to go because they are desperately scared, especially in my community.”Another problem: Many voters said they requested absentee ballots but had not received them by Election Day.Calena Roberts was trying to figure out how she would tell her 89-year-old mother-in-law, who now lives in a Milwaukee nursing home, that she would not be able to vote because her absentee ballot hadn’t shown up.
“What do I say to her? Other than, ‘Mother, I am so sorry you won’t be able to cast your ballot in 2020, after all the years and all the struggles for African Americans to get the right to vote,'” said Roberts, 67.
She said she could not “in good conscience” take her mother out of the nursing home and bring her to a crowded polling place. More than half of the city’s known infections are within the black community.  
“People should not have to make a choice about being able to cast their ballot or taking a chance on becoming deathly ill or dying,” Roberts said. “There was no reason, no excuse for any human being to think this is OK.”
Tuesday’s election was remarkable in that it happened at all. All other states scheduled to hold primaries in recent weeks have delayed voting by days, weeks or months so election officials can adjust to the coronavirus restrictions and prepare for a dramatic increase in absentee ballot requests. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried to postpone the primary but was stopped by the conservative-leaning state Supreme Court, which ordered the election to proceed.
Traditional voter-outreach efforts to push people to the polls were largely abandoned. Concerns over public safety prompted the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to cancel its planned get-out-the-vote activities. The campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden said it began weeks ago shifting all of its voter turnout efforts toward vote-by-mail.
Michael Claus, 66, was among voters who lined up Tuesday morning outside one of Milwaukee’s five polling places.
Claus, who is black, wore a protective mask and a Tuskegee Airmen cap. He said he tried to vote absentee and requested a ballot in March, but it never showed up and his only option was to vote in person. He blamed the Republican-controlled Legislature, saying the election “is more about politics for them than our safety.”
“They could have delayed the election with no problem,” Claus said. “They decided if they can suppress the vote in Milwaukee and Madison, where you have a large minority presence, you can get people elected you want elected. And that’s sad.”
Democrats had accused Republicans of holding to the Tuesday election date in part to benefit from reduced turnout in the state’s most populous cities, which lean Democratic. Reduced turnout there would benefit a conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who is on the ballot for re-election.
Republicans had defended moving ahead with the election, saying it can be done safely and that elections have not been delayed during other times of national crisis. They also argue it’s important to fill thousands of local offices where terms expire later this month.
It was too early to say how much of an effect fears over coronavirus along with all the last-minute confusion about whether the election would happen would reduce turnout. But any decline could have long-term consequences.
“If black voices are not represented in the vote and in decisions that are made by folks that are elected, their communities suffer,” said Ryeshia Farmer with the ACLU of Wisconsin. “They don’t receive the same amount of resources, the same amount of funding in their communities. Long term, this will have a ripple effect.”
Keisha Robinson, 43, of Milwaukee, works to mobilize voters with BLOC — Black Leaders Organizing Communities. Robinson herself requested an absentee ballot from the city on Thursday, a day before the deadline.  
She had her fingers crossed that it would arrive in Tuesday’s mail. When it didn’t, Robinson had to decide whether to go vote in person. With an immune system she said “is not so strong,” and feeling scared, she decided against it.
“Not being able to vote when that’s exactly what I urge and inform my community to do feels like hypocrisy almost,” she said. “It feels like i didn’t complete my end of an important deal or something.” 



Trump Challenges Authority, Independence of Agency Watchdogs

President Donald Trump is moving aggressively to challenge the authority and independence of agency watchdogs overseeing his administration, including removing the inspector general tasked with overseeing the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package that passed Congress with bipartisan support.  
In four days, Trump has fired one inspector general tied to his impeachment, castigated another he felt was overly critical of the coronavirus response and sidelined a third meant to safeguard against wasteful spending of the coronavirus funds.
The actions have sent shock waves across the close-knit network of watchdog officials in government, creating open conflict between a president reflexively resistant to outside criticism and an oversight community tasked with rooting out fraud, misconduct and abuse.  
The most recent act threatens to upend scrutiny of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue effort now underway, setting the stage for a major clash between Trump, government watchdogs and Democrats who are demanding oversight of the vast funds being pumped into the American economy.
“We’re seeing since Friday a wrecking ball across the IG community,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a government watchdog group.Glenn Fine headshot, as US Department of Defense Acting Inspector General, graphic element on grayThe latest broadside came Tuesday when the Defense Department revealed that Trump had removed acting inspector general Glenn Fine, an experienced official, from his role as head of a coronavirus spending oversight board. It was unclear who might replace Fine, who also lost his title as acting inspector general.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Fine’s abrupt removal “part of a disturbing pattern of retaliation by the president against independent overseers.” Trump, she said, is attempting to “disregard critical oversight provisions that hold the administration accountable to the law.”
Trump himself shed little light on the decision as he spoke to reporters Tuesday evening, saying he doesn’t know Fine, but had “heard the name.”  
A day earlier, Trump had asserted without evidence that an inspector general report warning of shortages of coronavirus testing in hospitals was “just wrong” and skewed by political bias. The report surveyed  more than 300 U.S. hospitals.
“Did I hear the word inspector general? Really?” Trump said when pressed about the Health and Human Services  watchdog report.  
“Give me the name of the inspector general,” Trump demanded, before asking, “Could politics be entered into that?” The acting Health and Human Services inspector general, Christi A. Grimm, is a career employee who took over the position early this year in an interim capacity. 
Most dramatic of all was Friday’s late-night firing of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who drew Trump’s disdain for notifying Congress of an anonymous whistleblower complaint on Ukraine. The complaint led to the president’s impeachment.  
Trump defended the firing by complaining that Atkinson had never spoken with him about the complaint, even though Atkinson’s job is to provide oversight independent of the White House.
The dismissal prompted a sharply worded statement from Justice Department watchdog Michael Horowitz, who chairs a council of agency inspectors general and who last month had announced Fine’s appointment to the pandemic oversight board.  
Diverging from Trump’s condemnation of Atkinson as “terrible,” Horowitz called Atkinson’s handling of the whistleblower complaint an example of “integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law.”
And he pointedly noted that the inspector general community will continue to do its job, including oversight of the more than $2 trillion in coronavirus aid.
The role of the modern-day inspector general dates to post-Watergate Washington, when Congress installed offices inside agencies as an independent check against mismanagement and abuse of power. Though inspectors general are presidential appointees, some, like Horowitz, serve presidents of both parties. All are expected to be nonpartisan.
Over the years, inspectors general have exposed grave problems through their investigations and humbled, or even embarrassed, agency leaders and presidential administrations.
Monday’s Health and Human Services report that angered the president chronicled long waits for coronavirus test results and supply shortages at hospitals across the country.  
Horowitz, meanwhile has identified significant flaws in the FBI’s surveillance during the Russia investigation. Trump has praised Horowitz’s findings even as he’s attacked his credibility for not finding evidence of political bias in the Russia probe, pejoratively describing him last December as an Obama appointee.
Former Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich said Trump perceives inspector general offices to have a “uniquely threatening function within the executive branch, which is to provide independent oversight of governmental functions.”
“It’s just something that doesn’t compute for him,” Bromwich added. “He understands the value of loyalty. He doesn’t understand the value of independence because that can conflict with loyalty.”
Even before this week, Democrats and good-government advocates feared that Trump was using the coronavirus rescue package to reward loyalty. He generated consternation by selecting Brian Miller, who works in the White House counsel’s office, to a new Treasury Department position overseeing $500 billion in coronavirus aid to industry.
Miller has worked at the Justice Department and was inspector general for nearly a decade at the General Services Administration, which oversees thousands of federal contracts. Though he is respected in the oversight community, Miller’s role in the White House counsel’s office is troubling, watchdog groups said.  
Democratic lawmakers had already questioned whether someone who worked for the president could be independent, concerns that were accelerated by Fine’s replacement.
“The president now has engaged in a series of actions designed to neuter any kind of oversight of his actions and that of the administration during a time of national crisis, when trillions of dollars are being allocated to help the American people,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told The Associated Press.
But Trump has made clear his willingness to flout that system, perhaps foreshadowing the chaos of the last week.  
As lawmakers were in the final stages of drafting what became the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package, he declared, “I’ll be the oversight.” And even when he signed it, he attached a statement that says some of the oversight provisions in the law “raise constitutional concerns” and may not be followed.




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