Negotiations between Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a coronavirus stimulus package appear to be making progress, with both parties expecting to reach agreement on a final package Tuesday.
Mnuchin called President Donald Trump during the negotiations, updating him on the progress the parties were making. The two men explained to Hill reporters that they expect a formal agreement on the stimulus package Tuesday morning, and a vote on the proposal later in the day.
The stimulus package is expected to entail cash payments of $1,200 for every American to inject resources into the economy. Some have likened the basic income payments as ‘TrumpBux.’
Small businesses will be provided with $350 billion in loans that aren’t expected to be paid back, allowing them to stay open and continue meeting payroll in a time where everyday commerce and life is severely disrupted. The final stimulus package largely seems to resemble the plan Mitch McConnell brought up.
The stimulus in total will place more than $2 trillion into the hands of various businesses and middle-class Americans. The TrumpBux proposal is means-tested, with Americans who reported more than $100,000 in income on their 2018 tax return not receiving the money.
Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrats tanked the original relief package on Sunday, citing a desire to introduce their own set of pet projects into the package that are totally unrelated to the economic damage caused by the coronavirus.
The prospect of a deal that passes Congress appears likely. But Republican negotiators can’t ignore the possibility of childish tricks from Democrats, who could aim to pose as willing negotiators before pulling out the rug and making a lavish new set of demands for their preference for the stimulus package.
If Schumer proves to be perfidious on his commitment towards a stimulus package, his party will reckon with the prospect of holding up desperate required TrumpBux and economic relief for small business in pursuit of their own vain political aims.
Congress Uses Fake Russia-Taliban Report as Excuse to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
Another victory for the war party.
Democrats are seizing upon a fake news report alleging that Russia has funded Taliban mercenaries to kill U.S. soldiers in order to make it more difficult for troops to be pulled from Afghanistan, thus undermining President Trump’s foreign policy agenda.
The House Armed Services Committee voted on Wednesday to make it more difficult for Trump to pull troops out of Afghanistan. It would force several certifications to be met before Trump could bring troops home. Republicans in the committee joined the Democrats to undermine Trump with the approval of this National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the neoconservative who supports Bush-era globalism, said the measure “lays out, in a very responsible level of specificity, what is going to be required if we are going to in fact make decisions about troop levels based on conditions on the ground and based on what’s required for our own security, not based on political timelines.” It was approved by a 45-11 vote.
The amendment requires an assessment to determine whether or not “state actors have provided any incentives to the Taliban, their affiliates, or other foreign terrorist organizations for attacks against United States, coalition, or Afghan security forces or civilians in Afghanistan in the last two years, including the details of any attacks believed to have been connected with such incentives” before troops can be removed from the country.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) bragged about how the measure will make sure the U.S. does not leave the region and more American lives are put in jeopardy for a war effort that is largely recognized to be a lost cause.
“There’s been bipartisan criticism of what a weak deal [Trump] got with the Taliban, a deal that is already falling apart,” Moulton said. “Now we learned that he was making this deal at the same time as there were bounties on the heads of American troops, American sons and daughters. We clearly need more oversight over what the president is doing in Afghanistan.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is the most eloquent voice for an “America First” foreign policy in the House, opposed the measure because of its obvious implications against peace.
“A great nation does not force the next generation to fight their wars, and that’s what we’ve done in Afghanistan,” Gaetz said. “I think the best day to have not had the war in Afghanistan was when we started it, and the next best day is tomorrow.
“I don’t think there’s ever a bad day to end the war in Afghanistan,” he added. “Our generation is weary of this and tired of this.”
The defense industry is pushing the Russia bogeyman yet again, in order to create xenophobic outrage and a pretense to keep troops occupying in the region. The Pentagon has reported that Russia is trying to expedite the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but they are painting this news as if it is a bad thing.
“As of February, the Russian government was working with the central government, regional countries, and the Taliban to gain increased influence in Afghanistan, expedite a U.S. military withdrawal, and address security challenges that might arise from a withdrawal,” a report from the Pentagon said.
“Russia has politically supported the Taliban to cultivate influence with the group, limit the Western military presence, and encourage counter ISIS operations, although Russia publicly denies their involvement,” they added.
The political establishment, including the military-industrial complex, is pulling out all the stops to sabotage President Trump and deprive him of achieving his goals before November’s election.
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