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Dana White reveals who’s next for Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz – MMA Fighting

Israel Adesanya was dazzling in his title defense and Jan Blachowicz cemented himself as the new light heavyweight champion as the UFC 253 main and co-main events both ended in dramatic fashion.

While Adesanya and Blachowicz will undoubtedly enjoy their victories with a well-deserved post-fight celebration, it didn’t take long for the subject of their next fight to be raised on Saturday night.

In fact, it was Adesanya himself who made the call about the top contender in the middleweight division. He immediately turned his attention to Jared Cannonier, who’s been on his radar for the past year.

Cannonier is currently preparing for a showdown with former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 254 in October. If he’s victorious, Cannonier should expect his next fight to come against Adesanya with the middleweight title up for grabs.

“That’s the fight if Cannonier wins,” UFC president Dana White confirmed at the UFC 253 post fight press conference. “And I love that about Israel. He’s ready for who’s next, who else thinks they can beat me. The kid is an absolute stud.”

Adesanya will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on Cannonier’s fight in just a few weeks to see if his next opponent is secured or not.

Things aren’t quite as clear cut at light heavyweight, but there are only a few options that make sense for Blachowicz after he dispatched Dominick Reyes in impressive fashion to claim the vacant title.

The Polish veteran made it clear just after the belt was wrapped around his waist that he would like to cement his championship status by facing Jon Jones, who vacated the belt just recently with the intention of moving up to the heavyweight division.

Jones even went as far as hinting on Twitter that perhaps he could return to 205 pounds now that a challenger like Blachowicz exists for him but obviously nothing is set in stone at this point.

The other fight that could determine the next contender for the light heavyweight title will take place on Nov. 7 when Thiago Santos goes to battle with Glover Teixeira.

White confirmed the winner of that fight would earn the next crack at the new 205-pound champion unless Jones really did decide he wanted to return to his old stomping grounds.

“Those are the guys that are fighting for the next shot,” White said about Santos vs. Teixeira. “But obviously if Jon Jones wanted that fight, we wouldn’t deny Jon Jones the opportunity.”

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Trump White House can’t end census early, judge rules – Fox News

President Trump won’t be allowed to end this year’s census a month early after new evidence presented by Census Bureau officials indicates that an early deadline could lead to severe undercounts, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California ordered the Census Bureau to continue tallying the country’s population through Oct. 31. The Justice Department is expected to appeal the decision even as the judge and census officials agree a shortened deadline would only ruin the accuracy of the census results.

FEDERAL APPEALS COURT STRIKES DOWN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION POLICY ON KEEPING UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS FROM BEING COUNTED IN THE CENSUS

Sparring over the census has been ongoing this year, as the Trump administration argued that if they don’t receive census data by a proposed early deadline of Sept. 30, they would be unable to meet the statutory deadline of Dec. 31.

Trump’s decision represents a reversal of an earlier request approved by House Democrats that would allow an extension until April 2021 for the administration to report census results due to the coronavirus pandemic, which halted field efforts by the agency and stunted their ability to drum up responses from large swaths of the country.

FOX NEWS POLL: TIGHT RACE IN OHIO, BIDEN TOPS TRUMP IN NEVADA AND PENNSYLVANIA

But Trump later decided he no longer wanted the extension and instead asked the courts to mandate the census expedite their results too.

An undercount, which the Census Bureau warns is possible if they are made to submit their counts a month early, would ultimately affect the number of congressional seats allotted to each state. Officials say it could potentially hit hardest low-income areas and minority communities who are least likely to respond to the census, as well as exclude immigrants from the population count.

PRESIDENT TRUMP TO PUSH FOR JUNETEENTH TO BECOME NATIONAL HOLIDAY: REPORT

“For the Black community, this decision means we have extra time to claim the governmental resources and representation that we’ve been denied,” Nana Gyamfi, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a plaintiff in the lawsuit told NPR.

Additional upheaval surrounding the census this year, which occurs every decade, included Trump’s efforts to block illegal immigrants from being counted, a practice that a federal panel of judges deemed illegal.

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The Trump administration is in the process of appealing that decision.

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Ricin White

Ricin Is Said to Have Been Sent to White House – The New York Times

Politics|Ricin Is Said to Have Been Sent to White House

Letters with the lethal substance were also sent to local law enforcement offices in Texas, an official said. Investigators are trying to find out who sent them and whether more were circulating through the postal system.

Credit…Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press

Katie Benner

WASHINGTON — Letters sent in recent days to the White House and to local law enforcement agencies in Texas contained the lethal substance ricin, and investigators are trying to determine whether other envelopes with the toxin were sent through the postal system, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter said on Saturday.

Investigators believe that the letters were sent from Canada and have identified a woman as a suspect, the official said.

The letter to the White House, which was addressed to President Trump, was intercepted, as were the letters to a detention facility and a sheriff’s office in Texas.

The envelope to the White House was caught at the final off-site processing facility where mail is screened before being sent to the White House mail room, according to a second law enforcement official. The Postal Service irradiates mail that is addressed to the White House and other federal agencies in the Washington area, and the mail is sorted in a facility that samples the air for suspicious substances.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington is leading the investigation, with assistance from New York, according to multiple law enforcement officials. So far, investigators have found no links between the ricin letters and any international terrorist groups, but the investigation is in its early stages, and nothing has yet been ruled out, one senior official said.

Ricin, which is part of the waste produced when castor oil is made, has no known antidote.

“The F.B.I. and our U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service partners are investigating a suspicious letter received at a U.S. government mail facility,” the F.B.I. said in a statement. “At this time, there is no known threat to public safety.”

Officials declined to discuss what evidence they had that pointed them to the suspect. Gathering evidence will be a painstaking process. As part of the investigation, for example, agents may need to identify the sorting facility that handled the letters, identify public mailboxes assigned to that sorting facility and see if there is video of the suspect posting the letters in the hours before they were collected by postal workers.

This is not the first time that U.S. officials have been targeted in ricin attacks.

In 2018, William Clyde Allen, a Navy veteran, was charged in a seven-count federal indictment for trying to send envelopes with ricin to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; the chief of naval operations, Adm. John M. Richardson; the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray; the C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel; and the secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson.

Officials determined that Mr. Allen had sent castor beans, rather than ricin. His case is still pending.

In 2013, a Mississippi man sent letters containing ricin to President Barack Obama and a Republican senator in an attempt to frame a rival. The letters were intercepted at sorting facilities.

A year later, Shannon Richardson, an actress, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for mailing letters laced with ricin in May 2013 to multiple people, including Mr. Obama and Michael R. Bloomberg, the mayor of New York at the time.

Adam Goldman, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

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White House announces $13B aid package for Puerto Rico – Fox News

The White House on Friday announced a $13 billion aid package for Puerto Rico, three years after the territory was hit by Hurricane Maria.

“Under the leadership of President Trump, FEMA will award almost $13 billion to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid system and spur recovery of the territory’s education system—the largest obligations of funding ever awarded,” the statement from the White House said, adding that it includes a federal share of $11.6 billion for the projects.

“Together, these grants exceed the total Public Assistance funding in any single federally-declared disaster other than Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy,” the statement said.

The aid package will be to assist Puerto Rico’s energy and education systems as the island continues to deal with the aftermath of the devastation brought by the 2017 hurricane.

Of the funding, $9.6 billion will go to Puerto Rico’s electric power authority so it can repair transmission lines, substations, buildings and make other grid improvements. An additional $2 billion goes to the territory’s Department of Education to restore school buildings and educational facilities.

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS OBAMA APPOINTMENT OF OVERSIGHT BOARD DEALING WITH PUERO RICO’S FINANCIAL CRISIS 

“With the grant awards announced today, the Federal Government will have obligated approximately $26 billion for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria,” the White House said.. “Today’s grant announcements represent some of the largest awards in FEMA’s history for any single disaster recovery event and demonstrate in the Federal Government’s continuing commitment to help rebuild the territory and support the citizens of Puerto Rico and their recovery goals.”

It comes after President Trump last week approved a disaster declaration for the island, following Hurricane Isaias over the summer. That declaration made funding available to affected areas for housing, loans to cover uninsured property losses and to help individuals and businesses recover.

But the territory had still been recovering from the aftermath of Maria, particularly due to its outdated energy system — which had been wrecked by the hurricane.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a statement Friday morning, said the funds were “overdue” and criticized the response by the Trump administration.

“Long before the hurricanes, Puerto Rico had a crumbling and dirty energy grid. After the storms utterly destroyed the grid, it created an opportunity to rebuild a cleaner, cheaper and more resilient energy system, but the Trump administration dithered and delayed and refused to deliver timely disaster aid for the people of Puerto Rico,” he said.

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“I will work with the Puerto Rican community to see that these long overdue and desperately needed funds are put to use in a wise way building the cleaner and more resilient energy grid the island deserves.”

The move comes as polls for the presidental race show a tight race in Florida between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. This aid package could potentially move Puerto Rican voters in the state towards Trump.

Fox News’ Mark Meredith contributed to this report.

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Live: White House Holds Press Briefing | NBC News – NBC News


Live: White House Holds Press Briefing: September 16 | NBC News – YouTube



























































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White House says Trump hasn’t seen video of supporters firing paintballs at protesters – The Independent

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has claimed Donald Trump did not see the video of Trump supporters in Portland, Oregon, firing paintballs and pepper spray at counter-protesters over the weekend — even though the president retweeted a video of such scenes on Sunday.

“I don’t think the president has seen that video. Nor have I,” Ms McEnany told reporters at a press conference on Monday, a comment that strains credulity considering Mr Trump’s retweet of and comment on a video from New York Times correspondent Mike Baker showing exactly that.

“But if you’re going to ask about paintballs, it’s incredible that for 90 days I’ve stood at this podium talking about officers who have [had] lasers flashed in their eyes in an attempt to blind them, commercial grade fireworks being thrown at them,” Ms McEnany said, referring to the pockets of violence against police that has marked some protests against police brutality in the wake of several shootings of black Americans this summer.

Mr Trump fired off dozens of tweets on Sunday, including several ripping into locally elected Democratic leaders of cities and states that have experienced riots this summer and hailing the people parading vehicles through Portland this weekend flying Trump 2020 flags as “GREAT PATRIOTS!”

Retweeting Mr Baker’s tweet on Sunday with the video of pro-Trump demonstrators firing paintballs at counter-protesters, the president wrote of Mayor Ted Wheeler: “The big backlash going on in Portland cannot be unexpected after 95 days of watching and [sic] incompetent Mayor admit that he has no idea what he is doing. The people of Portland won’t put up with no safety any longer.The Mayor is a FOOL. Bring in the National Guard!”

In Mr Baker’s initial tweet, he wrote that there were “clashes” along the parade route. “Trump people unload paintballs and pepper spray. They shot me too,” he wrote.

Ms McEnany highlighted at her press conference that a man shot and killed in Portland amid the demonstrations over the weekend, Aaron Danielson, was a supporter of Mr Trump, and that he was allegedly killed by a 48-year-old military veteran who has claimed to be “100% ANTIFA all the way!”

Despite the violence in Portland on Saturday, the Trump administration will not invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to quell unrest in Portland and Kenosha, Wisconsin, where some protesters have set fire to buildings and right-wing and left-wing demonstrators have clashed after the police shooting of a 29-year-old black man, Jacob Blake, last week.

“The President does not want to invoke the Insurrection Act, which has been used very sparingly. But what he does want is to help the cities where he can,” Ms McEnany said.

“When you see Kenosha, when federal forces came in, there was peace. In Minneapolis [as well]. And in both of those cases, it was at the invitation of the governor. So we want to work collaboratively with Democrat mayors and governors. They after all do hold the police power as embedded in the Constitution to control their streets, but we as the federal government are willing to supplement.”

Mr Trump’s opponent this November, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, challenged him to quit “fanning the flames of hate” by neglecting the message of peaceful protesters and leveraging the ideological divide of the country for political advantage.

“The deadly violence we saw overnight in Portland is unacceptable. Shooting in the streets of a great American city is unacceptable. I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same,” Mr Biden said in a lengthy statement on Sunday.

“It does not matter if you find the political views of your opponents abhorrent, any loss of life is a tragedy. Today there is another family grieving in America, and Jill and I offer our deepest condolences,” Mr Biden said.

Mr Biden issued his statement the day after Mr Danielson was shot in Portland.

The statement came also on the heels of a 17-year-old boy from Illinois, Kyle Rittenhouse, being charged with first-degree intentional homicide and several other violent felonies after he allegedly shot and killed two people in Kenosha last week amid a protest-turned-riot against the police shooting of Mr Blake.

Ms McEnany expressed a similar sentiment as Mr Biden about non-violence and peaceful protests on Monday on behalf of the president.

“The President believes that people of all ideologies should be able to peacefully protest and not have their lives put at risk,” Ms McEnany said.

Mr Trump is scheduled to visit Kenosha later this week, where he plans to meet with “local law enforcement and some business owners to help survey the damage” from the rioting last week, Ms McEnany said.

The president does not plan to meet with Mr Blake’s family, though the administration has reached out.

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White Sox’s Lucas Giolito throws first no-hitter of 2020 MLB season, strikes out 13 vs. Pirates – CBS Sports

For the 19th time in franchise history, a Chicago White Sox pitcher has thrown a no-hitter. This time around it was the staff ace, Lucas Giolito taking down the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 4-0 victory. It is the first career no-hitter for Giolito. Here’s everything you need to know behind the first no-no of the season.

The history behind this 

This is the first White Sox no-no since Philip Humber threw a perfect game in Seattle on April 21, 2012. Overall, this is the 304th no-hitter in MLB history. It’s the first of the 2020 season, even including combined no-hitters. The most recent no-hitter was delivered by Astros ace Justin Verlander on Sept. 1, 2019. There were four no-hitters last season. 

Giolito’s pure dominance in missing bats and weak contact

Giolito walked one, preventing him from the much more elusive perfect game. He wasn’t just dominant in preventing hits, he was missing bats all night. He ended up with 13 strikeouts while getting six groundball outs and five flyball outs. He got 30 swing-and-miss strikes. There was only one hard hit ball until the final hitter of the game, a Josh Bell lineout that clocked in at 106.6 miles per hour, so there was some level of good fortune on that one. The final out was also well struck, but right at the right fielder Adam Engel. Otherwise it was all missed bats and soft contact and that’s all Giolito taking over the game. Here is the final out: 

Speaking of that final out

Hoo boy that was a close one. Watching Giolito’s reaction you can tell he was worried he lost the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth. He didn’t thanks to positioning and the direction of the ball, because it was definitely well struck enough to be a hit. Baseball Savant uses exit velocity and launch angle to determine how often a ball is a hit. The expected batting average on a line drive with that velocity and height? .850. For more on that final play, here’s a good breakdown from Dayn Perry

Good signs from Giolito with a caveat

Giolito, a 2019 All-Star, got off to an inconsistent and somewhat worrisome start to the season, but he’s now logged back-to-back dominant starts. Last time out, he only allowed three hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings while striking out 13 and now the no-hitter. Of course, these starts came against the Tigers and Pirates, respectfully, but they could well get his confidence back in the right way and get him into the dominant territory he was in the first half last season. His next start comes against the Royals, so he’s likely to keep the good groove going. 

Giolito’s career turn-around

In 2018, Giolito posted a 6.13 ERA, which was the worst in the majors among qualified starters. He led the league in walks in earned runs while wild pitches and hit batsmen were also a problem. 

Heading to the next offseason, Giolito made some adjustments. He stopped throwing his sinker and instead concentrated on hammering fourseam fastballs high in the zone. That was on display during this outing in a big way. He also changed his position on the mound and it has helped get a handle on his control. Again, that was in full display during this game. He very rarely missed his spots until late when adrenaline was likely taking over. 

White Sox are on fire

The White Sox as a team, meantime, are going just as well. They have won eight of their last nine with the only loss being in a one-run game where Yu Darvish — who is dominating everyone — was the opposing starter. They now sit 18-12 exactly halfway through their season, looking like a strong playoff team. They still have 14 games left against the Tigers, Royals and Pirates, too. If they keep going like this, they might even end up the host team for a three-game series in the first round and it’s possible to grab being the home team for the divisional round, too. They are tough. 

The Pirates are not

Sure, it doesn’t take anything away at all from Giolito to say this, because he still got 27 outs without giving up a hit against a big-league team. The Pirates haven’t been no-hit all season, so it’s a major feat. We’re just saying separate of the incredible feat, the Pirates are now 7-18 on the season. They are now hitting .221 on the season. 

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White House accused of hiding Mnuchin role in recruiting Postmaster General DeJoy – Salon


Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“If it looks like a cover-up, sounds like a cover-up, and smells like a cover-up, it’s a cover-up.”



Jake Johnson
August 22, 2020 11:56PM (UTC)

This article originally appeared at Common Dreams. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

http://www.salon.com/

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday accused the Trump White House of covering up the role Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin played in recruiting Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Republican donor with no prior experience working for the U.S. Postal Service.

In a letter to Robert Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, Schumer wrote that as part of his investigation into DeJoy’s selection and unanimous appointment in May, his office “learned of the role Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had with the Postal Board of Governors, including through meetings with individual governors as well as phone calls with groups of governors, which has not been previously disclosed by the board.”

“This administration has repeatedly pointed to the role of [executive search firm] Russell Reynolds to defend the selection of a Republican mega-donor with no prior postal experience as postmaster general while at the same time blocking the ability of Congress to obtain briefings from the firm and concealing the role of Secretary Mnuchin and the White House in its search process,” the New York Democrat wrote.

Schumer demanded that the Board of Governors—which is completely controlled by Trump appointees—immediately release Russell Reynolds from any nondisclosure agreement barring the firm from providing details about its postmaster general search and provide a full “explanation of the role of President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin in the search process for a new postmaster and the selection of Mr. DeJoy.”

Schumer’s investigation into the process that resulted in DeJoy’s appointment began in June, when he demanded that the Board of Governors turn over any communications with the White House related to the postmaster general’s selection. Shortly after taking charge of USPS on June 15, DeJoy moved to impose operational changes that caused severe mail backlogs across the nation. DeJoy this week vowed to suspend, but not reverse, the changes.

“In your July 2 response to me, the board asserted that much of the information I requested was confidential and declined to provide it,” Schumer wrote Wednesday. “As a result, my staff sought the cooperation of Russell Reynolds with Congress… My office was informed by counsel for Russell Reynolds that the board was not willing to waive its nondisclosure agreement so that Congress could satisfy its oversight obligations.”

In response to stonewalling by the Board of Governors and the Trump White House, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) tweeted, “If it looks like a cover-up, sounds like a cover-up, and smells like a cover-up, it’s a cover-up.”

On Wednesday, watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) obtained documents confirming that Mnuchin was involved in the Board of Governors’ effort to find a replacement for former Postmaster General Megan Brennan, a 34-year Postal Service veteran who retired in June.

As CREW’s Donald Sherman and Linnaea Honl-Stuenkel wrote Wednesday, the documents reveal that “Mnuchin met with the United States Postal Service Board of Governors in February to discuss the search for a new postmaster general as part of his larger campaign to exert influence over the USPS.”

“It’s clear that Mnuchin had a candidate for postmaster general in mind, who was personally invested in USPS competitors,” Sherman and Honl-Stuenkel continued. “The Washington Post reports that Louis DeJoy, the eventual pick, was recruited by Mnuchin.”


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White House, Democrats agree to try for coronavirus relief deal on evictions, unemployment by week’s end – The Washington Post

The White House and Democratic leaders agreed to try to finalize a deal to address lapsed unemployment benefits and eviction restrictions by the end of this week and hold a vote in Congress next week, suddenly trying to rush stalled talks in the face of growing public and political unrest.

Senior White House officials said Tuesday that they made “very concrete offers” to Democrats related to unemployment benefits and eviction protections, and after days of bickering both sides now appear to be trying to secure a compromise.

The agreement on a timeline came in a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

The four have been meeting almost daily for a week. Their agreement Tuesday on a specific timeline to reach an overall deal constituted the most concrete progress yet. It suggests that the White House has backed off efforts to pass a stand-alone extension of unemployment benefits — and will also stand down, at least for now, on more recent threats to act unilaterally through executive orders if no deal can be reached with Congress.

“I may not have to sign [executive orders]. Progress is being made,” President Trump told reporters at the White House.

Pelosi and Schumer also pointed to signs of progress in earlier comments to reporters.

“We agree that we want to have an agreement,” Pelosi said, adding: “This takes time, and it takes specificity.”

For example, even though Mnuchin offered an eviction moratorium until the end of the year, the White House offer did not include other homeowner and rental assistance that Democrats have demanded, so the housing portion of the talks remains unresolved, a Democratic aide said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the talks.

“Chuck and I are master negotiators,” Pelosi said in a PBS interview Tuesday evening.

The four will meet again on Wednesday.

The talks came as Senate Republicans on Tuesday began to emphasize that they will need to stay in Washington until a fresh round of pandemic relief aid is enacted, worried about facing the wrath of voters if they go home without one with deaths from the novel coronavirus rising and the economic recovery stalled.

About 30 million jobless Americans lost $600-a-week enhanced unemployment benefits on Friday, and a moratorium on rental evictions also recently expired.

The Senate had been scheduled to adjourn for its August recess starting next week, but that is not looking feasible.

Trump has maintained that he could act unilaterally on virus relief if no deal is reached, claiming he has the power to step in and address the eviction issue, among other things — although it’s not clear how that would work.

The White House and lawmakers are struggling to close the significant divide that remains between the Democrats’ starting, $3.4 trillion offer, and a $1 trillion GOP package that did not have unified support of the Senate Republican Conference.

Pelosi has not publicly backed down from her support for the Democrats’ bill, but Mnuchin scoffed at the idea that Republicans would be adopting that proposal.

“We’re not doing anything close to $3.4 trillion. That’s just ridiculous,” Mnuchin said.

“We really went down issue by issue by issue, slogging through,” Schumer said. “They made some concessions which we appreciated; we made some concessions which they appreciated. We’re still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we’re continuing.”

It was unclear what concessions had been made on either side, and Meadows contended that the concessions made by the administration were “far more substantial” than those the Democrats offered.

Schumer also said the Democrats had requested a meeting with the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, for Wednesday to discuss delays in delivering mail.

Earlier, at a lunch with Senate Republicans, Meadows and Mnuchin said that Trump was prepared to enact some sort of executive order on pandemic relief, and no senators raised any objections to that plan, according to people briefed on the meeting.

White House officials eager to break the logjam had stepped up their talk in recent days of Trump acting unilaterally on key administration priorities, including the expiration of unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions.

Meadows has eyed taking money already approved by Congress and redirecting it for federal unemployment benefits, according to three people aware of internal administration deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private matter. The White House Counsel’s Office is assisting Meadows in the review of the legality of the repurposing of some of these funds, two of the people said. The president has said publicly that he is exploring the matter.

But the strategy faced significant hurdles, legal and otherwise, and some people in close communication with the White House said the idea was being studied largely to give the president greater leverage in the negotiations with Democrats.

The talks picked up urgency as GOP senators acknowledged the problematic issue of returning to their home states without relief for their beleaguered constituents.

“How do you think it looks for us to be back home when this is unresolved?” said Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), who is running for reelection in November. “This is the most important thing we need to be doing.”

“Real people are sitting back home and wondering why all the Kabuki games, why can’t we just do it?” said Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.).

Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of the party leadership who help draft provisions related to education and health funding in the Senate Republican proposal, said there are multiple areas of agreement with Democrats where negotiations could bear fruit.

“I think on testing, we’re close. On schools, in reality, we would be close if they wanted to be close. On child care. Hopefully on vaccine,” Blunt said.

He added that there were some issues — such as aid to state and local governments — where the parties remain far apart.

Republicans acknowledged their own divisions.

“I think I’ve made it very clear for some time now if you’re looking for a total consensus among Republicans you’re not going to find it, because we do have divisions about what to do,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.

He said it was unlikely that the bill would pass Congress with broad support, as earlier virus relief did.

“It’s not going to produce a ‘Kumbaya’ moment like we had in March or April where everybody voted aye, but the American people in the end need help,” McConnell said. “And wherever this thing settles between the president of the United States and his team who have to sign it into law, and the Democrats’ not insignificant minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something I’m prepared to support, even if I have some problems with certain parts of it.”

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White House makes random coronavirus testing mandatory for staff – CBS News

Relief bill stalled over jobless benefits


Relief bill stalled over jobless benefits

07:54

Washington — The White House is conducting mandatory random COVID-19 testing for employees, according to a notice described by a staffer. Employees received an email Monday morning notifying them of the required testing.

Random testing has already been taking place for staffers at the White House complex, the person explained, but “today’s announcement makes it mandatory if you’ve been selected.”

It’s unclear how the mandate might be enforced, but the email said that “failure to report to testing will be considered a refusal to test.”

Politico first reported that the random testing is mandatory.

Such mandatory random testing does not apply to the White House press corps, many of whom attend briefings with the president without even a temperature check. 

The president and vice president are tested for the virus regularly, as are those who work closely with them. 

The White House testing policy highlights the disparity between the speed and availability for those who work in the White House, and the rest of the country. Lags in testing times mean many Americans wait for more than a week to get results back.

The president has also downplayed the value of testing as a tool to fight the virus, incorrectly claiming the U.S. has so many cases because it conducts more tests, not because the virus is so widespread and prevalent.

Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.

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