blasts Pelosi

Pelosi blasts GOP ‘skinny’ deals, doubles down on call for large coronavirus stimulus package – CNBC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday morning that she remains opposed to Republican efforts to pass a smaller version of her party’s coronavirus stimulus plan despite the looming 2020 election and economic fallout from the pandemic.

Asked by CNBC’s Jim Cramer if she’d be willing to pass a “skinny” deal now and reconvene with Republicans on outstanding issues later, Pelosi fired back that “there is no later with this administration.”

“This is the opportunity. And the skinny deal is a Republican bill: That’s not a deal at all,” Pelosi said on “Squawk on the Street.” “They’re making a skinny — in fact, Chuck Schumer and I call it an emaciated — proposal for a massive problem.”

“We can fiscally spend the appropriate amount of money to meet the needs of the American people,” she added. “And by the way: It’s stimulus. We are a consumer economy and the more we have, whether it’s food stamps or unemployment insurance … that is stimulus to the economy.”

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The speaker touted the $3 trillion bill the House passed in May known as the Heroes Act. That legislation would allot nearly $1 trillion in relief for state and local governments, a second round of direct payments of $1,200 per person and an extension of the $600 per week federal unemployment insurance benefit that expired at the end of July.

Republicans looking for a compromise, such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have said they want to keep the price tag of the developing bill around $1 trillion thanks to better economic data and out of budgetary concerns.

The cumulative federal budget deficit for the first 11 months of fiscal 2020 was $3 trillion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, a result of intensified government spending to support the economy through the Covid-19 shutdown.

But Pelosi’s insistence on a larger deal may put fellow Democrats in a tough position, with many members of the House who won seats from Republicans in 2018 in tough reelection battles. Those representatives may find their races even more difficult if they return home to voters without any additional pandemic assistance enacted into law.

For their part, Republicans failed to advanced their own “skinny” bill last week in the Senate after all Democrats present voted against a procedural measure. That bill, though far smaller than the Heroes Act, would have reimposed enhanced federal unemployment insurance at a rate of $300 per week, half of the $600 weekly payment that expired at the end of July. Democrats said it didn’t go far enough.

Hoping to restart the stalled negotiations and underscoring the need to return to voters with a material boost to Covid relief, the House Problem Solvers Caucus on Tuesday released a coronavirus relief plan produced with input from both parties.

“Having seen no progress on a new COVID-19 relief package in four months, and in recognition of Americans’ increasing suffering, the Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) has developed a comprehensive, bipartisan framework to meet the nation’s needs for the next 6-12 months, that can pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by the President,” the caucus said in a release.

The caucus’s proposal includes $450 per week in federal unemployment benefits for eight weeks, $500 billion in state and local relief, direct payments to American workers and additional Paycheck Protection Program funds. As the proposal includes provisions both major parties have opposed, it is unclear whether it can gain traction with congressional leaders.

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blasts Trump

Trump blasts Oregon officials over Portland protests | TheHill – The Hill

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden hits Trump’s ‘law and order’ message: He’s trying to ‘scare the devil’ out of people Pelosi bashes Barr after testimony: ‘He was like a blob’ and ‘henchman’ for Trump Schumer: Trump should want COVID-19 deal to help GOP election chances MORE on Wednesday went on the offensive once again against Oregon Democrats who have opposed the presence of federal agents in Portland, calling Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) “very weak people.”

The president’s comments come after The Associated Press reported that the White House and Brown’s office are in talks to remove the federal officers from downtown Portland, where they’ve been since late June.

“As far as Portland is concerned, we’ve taken a very strong stance. They are anarchists, they’re radical, crazy people and they’re either going to straighten it out themselves — Portland, the police and maybe if the state gets involved,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for Texas. 

“We’re not leaving until they’ve secured their city,” he said. “If they don’t secure their city soon, we have no choice, we’re going to have to go in and clean it out.

President Trump defends the presence of federal agents in Portland: “We’re not leaving until they secure the city”

— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 29, 2020

“That means the governor and the mayor; they’re very weak people. These radicals, these anarchists are controlling [Brown and Wheeler],” Trump added.

On Monday, Wheeler and Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty requested a meeting with acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfACLU urges court to hold federal agents in Portland in contempt Trump to review DACA, allow holders to extend for one year Former DHS spokesman rips federal agents’ presence in Portland MORE “to discuss a cease-fire and the removal of heightened federal forces from Portland.” 

Wolf, in conjunction with the Justice Department, deployed the federal officers to protect Portland’s Hatfield Federal Courthouse, which has suffered damage during the Black Lives Matter protests in the city. Demonstrations have dominated the area around the courthouse since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police at the end of May, equating to more than 60 days of protesting.

The Trump administration has repeatedly lauded the performance of the officers, though protesters have increasingly blasted their presence in the city. For weeks, protesters and agents have clashed, with officers firing tear gas to disperse the crowds, while protesters have set off fireworks and started fires close to the courthouse. 

Attorney General William BarrBill BarrPelosi bashes Barr after testimony: ‘He was like a blob’ and ‘henchman’ for Trump Lawmakers, public bid farewell to John Lewis Democrats blister Barr during tense hearing MORE on Tuesday also defended the federal officers, which include U.S. Marshals.

“We are on the defense. We are not out looking for trouble,” Barr told the House Judiciary Committee.

“I just reject the idea that the Department has flooded anywhere and attempted to suppress demonstrators. … In Portland, the courthouse is under attack,” Barr said, citing the use of explosives and projectiles by protesters against the federal officers.

The conduct of the officers, however, has been heavily criticized by Democratic lawmakers, after reports surfaced two weeks ago of federal officers — clad in unidentifiable military fatigues — picking up and detaining protesters in unmarked vans.

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blasts senator

US Senator blasts American Airlines for packing the middle seats on his flight – CNN

(CNN)A United States Senator said he would introduce a bill to ban the sale of middle seats during this coronavirus pandemic, one day after he criticized American Airlines for selling the middle seats of a flight he had boarded, calling it “incredibly irresponsible” and warning it was contributing to the spread of the disease.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, tweeted an image showing his packed flight on Thursday. Most of the passengers in the photo were blurred out, but it’s clear some were wearing masks and many of them were in the middle seat.
“@AmericanAir: how many Americans will die bc you fill middle seats, w/ your customers shoulder to shoulder, hour after hour. This is incredibly irresponsible,” he tweeted. “People eat & drink on planes & must take off masks to do so. No way you aren’t facilitating spread of COVID infections.”
On Friday he followed up: “A lot of folks reacted to my tweet yesterday about the irresponsible sale of middle seats on planes saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if someone in the Senate did something about it?’ They’re right.”
“I will introduce a bill to ban the sale of middle seats through this pandemic. And I’ll work with colleagues to include it in a package of airline accountability reforms they are crafting,” he tweeted.
American Airlines said in a statement Friday, “We are unwavering in our commitment to the safety and well-being of our customers and team members. We have multiple layers of protection in place for those who fly with us, including required face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and a pre-flight COVID-19 symptom checklist — and we’re providing additional flexibility for customers to change their travel plans, as well.”
It added, “We know our customers are placing their trust in us to make every aspect of their journey safe, and we are committed to doing just that.”
American didn’t directly respond to Merkley’s initial tweet, but it did reply to a Twitter user who retweeted it and said, “The very reason I didn’t fly my family from Texas to Maine. @AmericanAir. this is shameful. I’ve flown with you for years. I will never again.”
“We’ve implemented many layers of protection including enhanced cleaning and requiring face coverings,” the airline replied, linking to a press release that detailed its “clean commitment.”
Delta Air Lines, Jet Blue and Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, said they would continue to limit seating to enable some social distancing.
United Airlines said Wednesday it does not believe that simply leaving middle seats empty will protect passengers from the coronavirus.
“When it comes to blocking middle seats, that’s a PR strategy, that’s not a safety strategy,” Josh Earnest, the airline’s top spokesman, told reporters.
But Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said this week that “there was substantial disappointment with American Airlines” when the air carrier announced it would stop limiting seat sales. 
Speaking at a Covid-19-related Senate committee hearing on Tuesday, Redfield said safety on airplanes and mass transportation is a “critical area.” 
“I can tell you that when they announced that the other day, obviously there was substantial disappointment with American Airlines,” Redfield said. “I can say this is under critical review right now by us at CDC. We don’t think it’s the right message.”
The CDC has said that “although illness may occur as a direct result of air travel, it is uncommon.” Most viruses don’t spread easily on airplanes, the agency has said, because of how the air circulates and is filtered. Modern commercial jets recirculate 10-50% of the air in the cabin, mixed with outside air.

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blasts Passenger

Passenger blasts United Airlines for yet another packed flight amid coronavirus – New York Post

May 11, 2020 | 8:49pm

A New Jersey woman says she endured yet another United Airlines flight packed with people despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Photos taken by Mary Pearson, 76, of Long Beach Island shows passengers in every seat on Thursday’s 2:30 p.m. flight from San Juan to Houston, with no room for social distancing.

Worse, the woman who sat next to Pearson wasn’t wearing a mask, she said.

“She got on the plane with a bandanna on and as soon as the plane took off, she took it off and never put it back on,” Pearson told The Post.

Pearson said she expected the airline to ensure that every other seat was left empty, and to require passengers to wear masks.

But there was not even a mention of the virus after boarding, she said.

“I had three friends who came in — one on JetBlue, one on American, and one on Southwest — and they all had the middle seat empty,” Pearson said. “Maybe I should have checked with United beforehand, but it was really upsetting getting on the plane to see what was happening.”

“It was really frightening,” she added. “I wasn’t very excited to get on a plan to begin with.”

United’s website says that the airline “cannot guarantee that all customers will be seated next to an unoccupied seat,” but that “based on historically low travel demand and the implementation of our various social distancing measures that is the likely outcome.”

A person sleeps without a mask.
Mary Pearson

Pearson said she filed a complaint with the airline, but never heard back.

“It leaves me feeling very unsafe about the next few weeks,” she said. “My husband and I are not young, 76 and 83.”

United Airlines didn’t comment on Pearson’s specific experience, but told The Post that, beginning next week, it would allow customers on flights expected to be packed the option of re-booking or receive a travel credit.

Through June 30, the airline said it will contact travelers about 24 hours before their departure time so they can decide whether to change their plans before they get to the airport. The option will also be available at the gate, if more than 70 percent of passengers have checked in.

The airline also claims that it requires passengers and crew to wear masks on board, despite images from Pearson showing bare-faced travelers.

Pearson’s account comes after a San Francisco doctor returning from volunteering at a New York City hospital to help fight the virus said he was also forced to endure a packed flight on United.

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blasts Trump

Trump blasts CNN, Jim Acosta for past coverage of Michael Flynn – Fox News

Published on 30-Apr-2020

President Trump calls out the media for their treatment of General Michael Flynn. #FoxNews

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