Weekend News Bytes — May 18, 2020

Weekend News Bytes — May 18, 2020

(AmericanProsperity.com) – Over the weekend, former President Barack Obama criticized the Trump administration for its response to COVID-19, arguing that it’s incompetent from top to bottom. For his part, President Trump responded in kind and reminded America Obama was “grossly incompetent.” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned the economy might not “fully recover” from COVID-19 until there’s a vaccine. Finally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said there’s no “red line” on negotiating a $3 trillion House bill with Senate Republicans.

Obama and Trump Exchange Words

In an online speech to graduating students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities on Saturday, former President Obama attacked the Trump administration for its response to COVID-19. Obama’s political remarks were not expected, given the situation and venue. He said the pandemic has “torn back the curtain” and the Trump administration doesn’t know what it’s doing. He added many of its members don’t even pretend to be in charge.

While not naming President Trump directly, Obama ripped the administration for being selfish, tribal, divided, and making enemies out of those who don’t agree with them. He further said that’s what the fight is really about — not politics.

At the White House on Sunday, reporters asked Trump about Obama’s statement. He responded Obama was “grossly incompetent” and dismissed the criticism. Trump previously asserted the Obama administration broke the federal government.

Powell Predicts Long Road Ahead

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell predicted the economy recovery might hinge on a COVID-19 vaccine. In an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday night, Powell said it’s going to take a while for the economy to get back to where it was in February. He added the public would have to have full confidence before they venture back out to restaurants, malls, sporting events, and concerts where large numbers of people gather. That’s presuming there isn’t a second wave.

Powell acknowledged the pain, suffering, and financial hurt many Americans are experiencing. However, he remained hopeful and said it wouldn’t be wise to bet against the US economy long-term.

Pelosi Says “No Red Line”

On Sunday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Democrats did not have a red line when it comes to negotiating another relief package with Republicans. On Friday, the House passed a highly partisan 1,800-page, $3-trillion relief package Senate Republicans say is dead on arrival (DOA), and President Trump has said he’ll veto. While acknowledging a fifth rescue bill is inevitable, Senate Republicans say they’re not sure the bill is needed right now and it’s full of liberal and socialist wish lists that have nothing to do with COVID-19.

Pelosi’s HEROES Act provides:

  • $1 trillion for states and cities, which Republicans say is a bailout for bad behavior by state governments
  • A $25 billion bailout for the US Postal Service
  • $3.6 billion to help local officials prepare for the November election
  • Elimination of the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes in the 2017 tax reform bill
  • Forgiving up to $10,000 of student loans for every borrower
  • Shield illegal immigrants from deportation
  • A second round of $1,200 stimulus checks, but a stipulation that illegal immigrants would also be eligible for the first round as well

Senate Republicans say they’re not likely to take up the bill until sometime in June, and its current state is DOA. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated last week his “red line” moving forward is removing liability from companies that bring workers back during the pandemic.

~Here’s to Your Prosperity!

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