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The Senate passed a substantial emergency relief bill on Wednesday night that would provide aid to small businesses, hospitals, and Americans suffering from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Senate passed H.R. 748, the CARES Act, with 96 votes in favor of the bill and no senators opposed to the legislation.

The legislation featured unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats. The legislation required 60 votes to pass through the Senate.

The Senate coronavirus package costs roughly $2 trillion and is approximately 880-pages long.

The Senate shot down an amendment to the bill sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), which would reverse the bill’s generous unemployment benefits. Sens. Sasse, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Rick Scott (R-FL) contended that the legislation would incentivize Americans not to work. The amendment required 60 votes to pass through the chamber. Sasse’s amendment was shot down with 48 votes in favor and 48 against the measure.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rebuffed the Republican senators’ concerns over the bill, contending this will help those who involuntarily lost their jobs.

“I don’t think it will create incentives. Most Americans, what they want, they want to keep their jobs,” Mnuchin said.

“We need to get this money into the American economy and American workers, that’s the importance of this,” he added.

The Senate Cares Act would provide most Americans $1,200 per individual, $500 for most children, and establish a several hundred billion dollar lending aid program for businesses, cities and states, as well as aid for small businesses.

The bill also omits many Democrat requests such as mandatory early voting, ballot harvesting, requirements that federal agencies analyze their use of “minority banks,” and provisions to curb airline emissions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor before the vote that the chamber “will stay nimble” to combat the coronavirus. He added that there would be no more votes in the Senate until April 20.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said in a statement after the bill passed through the Senate:

As this COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, I’ve continued to listen to Iowans from all sectors of our economy, and there has been one resounding message: we need relief, and we need it now. After heeding these calls, I pushed my colleagues to take swift, bold action to deliver immediate aid to folks in Iowa, and across the country. And thankfully, we’ve done that. From Phase 1, where we bolstered our state and local response efforts; to Phase 2 where we provided paid sick leave and free testing; and now, to Phase 3 where we’ve come to the aid of America’s workforce and those in our health care industry on the front lines of this pandemic.

“Now, the House must do their job, pass this bipartisan bill quickly, and get it to President Trump’s desk. We don’t have time for delay; Iowans need this aid right now,” she added.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said after CARES Act passed:

Communities across Florida and our nation are reeling from this unprecedented crisis, and today the Senate acted on an unprecedented response to provide relief to Americans, small businesses, and our economy. Our bipartisan small business package, which was included, will provide emergency relief so that millions of American workers can keep their jobs and millions of small businesses can stay open. As our nation works to contain the spread of the coronavirus, I remain in close contact with the Trump Administration and Governor DeSantis to ensure that Florida has the resources it needs during this public health crisis.

“The Coronavirus epidemic has damaged our physical and our economic health. This bill supports the economic health of individuals, families ,and employers. It also advances the fight to make us safe from the disease,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The Senate appeared poised over the weekend to pass the legislation; however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) left the negotiating table at the last minute to craft her own legislation.

After many days of negotiation with Senate Republicans and the White House, Pelosi agreed to support the Senate proposal.

Now that the bill has passed through the Senate, the House will take up the bill on Friday.

McConnell delivered an impassioned speech before the vote on the Senate floor on Wednesday about how the nation will defeat the coronavirus.

“Today, the Senate will act to help the people of this country weather this storm,” McConnell said. “Our nation needed us to go big and go fast, and they did.”

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: Senate Unanimously Passes Historic Coronavirus Relief Package

The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) estimated that 13 million Americans will have increased access to health care due to President Donald Trump’s executive action, according to a report released recently.

The CEA estimated that millions of Americans will have new health insurance access that is better tailored to their healthcare needs that were previously unavailable due to high healthcare prices and overregulation. The council attributed much of the increase to the president’s reforms to expand short-term limited-duration health insurance plans, association health plans (AHPs), and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs).

Short-term plans cost less than Obamacare plans because federal statute does not require the insurance plans to comply with all of Obamacare’s onerous insurance regulations; thus, they serve as a good alternative for many younger and healthier Americans.

The Trump administration’s rule allowed Americans to purchase short-term plans for up to 364 days and renew the plans for up to three years. The Barack Obama administration curbed these rules to encourage Americans to purchase Obamacare.

The CEA said that short-term plans could be half as expensive as Obamacare-compliant plans.

“Though these plans are more limited in coverage than the ACA-compliant insurance plans, they are priced at up to 60 percent less than the unsubsidized premium cost of ACA exchange plans and give consumers more insurance protection than being uninsured,” the council wrote.

AHPs allow small businesses to join together and benefit from the regulatory advantages that many large companies experience under health insurance rules. AHPs can serve employees in a city, county, state, or a particular industry across the nation.

The CEA wrote that up to five million Americans will likely enroll in either AHPs or short-term plans, with one million Americans likely to get newly insured as the result of the short-term plan expansion.

The CEA wrote:

As a result of STDLI and AHP rules, the CBO and the U.S. Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that over the next decade, roughly 5 million more people are projected to be enrolled in AHPs or short-term plans. Of this increase, almost 80 percent constitute individuals who would otherwise have purchased coverage in the small-group or nongroup markets. The remaining 20 percent (roughly 1 million people) are made up of individuals who are projected to be newly insured as a result of the rules.

The council wrote that roughly one million Americans will save money on their health insurance premiums by switching to short-term health insurance policies. It added that the savings could exceed 50 percent compared to an Obamacare-compliant plan.

The Trump administration also expanded a rule that would allow employers to offer their employees a tax-deferred account to purchase their own health insurance. HRAs enable American workers to maintain their health insurance coverage even if they were to leave their job.

The CEA said that up to 11 million workers will receive their more personally tailored health insurance coverage under HRAs.

“The Treasury Department estimated that 800,000 employers are expected to provide HRAs after being fully ramped up. In addition, it is estimated that there will be a reduction in the number of uninsured by 800,000 by 2029,” the council wrote. “From these employers’ HRA contributions, it is expected that firms will cover more than 11 million employees with individual health insurance by 2029.”

During his State of the Union address in February, President Trump said he has worked to lower health insurance premiums for all Americans.

“Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive — and better,” the president said, touting the low cost of short-term plans.

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: White House: Trump Expanding Healthcare Access for 13 Million Americans

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said Thursday he will introduce legislation to dismiss the Democrats’ impeachment trial, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) withholding of the articles of impeachment an “abuse of the Constitution.”

Sen. Hawley, a former Missouri attorney general, said he will introduce a bill on Monday to dismiss the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump because Democrats have yet to send the articles of impeachment to Congress’s upper chamber.

“Dems said impeachment was URGENT. Now they don’t want to have a trial, because they have no evidence,” Sen. Hawley tweeted. “In real world, if prosecution doesn’t proceed with case, it gets dismissed. So on Monday, I will introduce measure to dismiss this bogus impeachment for lack of prosecution”:

The Missouri conservative claimed his legislation would expose the Democrats’ cynical move to oust the president, claiming that impeachment amounts to an “abuse of the Constitution.”

“This will expose Dems’ circus for what it is: a fake impeachment, abuse of the Constitution, based on no evidence. If Dems won’t proceed with trial, bogus articles should be dismissed and @realDonaldTrump fully cleared,” Sen. Hawley added.

Since House Democrats moved to impeach the president in December, House Speaker Pelosi has yet to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate, worrying that Senate Republicans will quickly move to dismiss the impeachment trial. The articles of impeachment charge that President Trump abused the office of the presidency and obstructed Congress.

“So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” she said in December.

Hawley’s contention echoes Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz’s reasoning that Pelosi’s withholding of the articles of impeachment is an “abuse of power” and an “obstruction of the Senate.”

Dershowitz said in December:

If he has been impeached, the Senate has to start its trial as soon as they choose to,” Dershowitz continued. “Remember, the Senate is the sole judge of guilty or innocence of impeachment. And so the Democrats can’t have it both ways. They can’t sound the one hand — to the public we are saying he is impeached, but for the Senate, we’re saying he is not impeached. You know what I say? This is obstruction of the Senate — exactly the same charge that made against the president.

“This is abuse of power from exactly the same charge they made against the president. It is wrong constitutionally. It is wrong morally. And it is wrong politically,” he added.

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: Josh Hawley to Introduce Legislation Dismissing ‘Bogus Impeachment’ Trial

The New York Post released an analysis Saturday, which found Fox News had “mispresented” their poll, suggesting a majority of Americans supported impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Fox News released a poll this week which found that 51 percent of registered voters want President Trump impeached and removed from office, while 4 percent want Trump impeached but want him to stay in office, and 40 percent of voters oppose impeachment. The Fox News poll found that supposedly showed a double-digit increase in the number of voters who wanted Trump impeached and removed from office.

However, according to a New York Post analysis, Fox News misrepresented Americans’ alleged support for impeachment.

Braun Research, the pollster firm that conducted the survey, noted that 48 percent of its respondents were Democrats; however, the Post revealed that the “actual breakdown” based on party affiliation is 31 percent Democrat, 29 percent Republican, and 38 percent independent.

The Post noted that, when weighting the poll for party affiliation, would have revealed that only 44.9 percent of Americans, or less than a majority, back impeachment of President Trump. Forty-four percent of Americans oppose impeachment, according to the Post‘s analysis.

The Fox News poll incensed President Trump, who noted that, since he first ran for president, he has never had a “good” Fox News poll.

“Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days,” Trump wrote in a tweet this week.

Trump added, “@FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!”

Other conservatives have noted that the Fox News poll may also be misrepresenting Americans’ support for impeachment.

Emerald Robinson, chief White House correspondent for One America News (OAN), said that Paul Ryan, a board member of the Fox News parent company Fox Corp., hired a “polling firm run by liberal activists.”

Robinson said that the poll serves as “cover for GOP to impeach Trump.”
John Roberts, the chief White House correspondent for Fox News, said the methodology for the poll remains the same.
Robinson said in reply to Roberts the “first rule of getting out of a deep hole? Stop digging.”

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: New York Post: Fox News ‘Misrepresented’ Impeachment Poll

The Senate passed a resolution on Thursday that would end President Donald Trump’s national emergency on the border with less than a veto-proof majority; however, the president has already threatened to veto the legislation.

The Senate passed on a resolution Thursday, 59-41, that would end President Donald Trump’s national emergency. The vote featured strong Democrat support for the bill and a surprising amount of Republicans voting for it. The House passed its version of the resolution in February with the help of 13 Republicans.

Several Senate Republicans voted against President Trump’s national emergency.

Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rob Portman (R-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) voted in favor of eliminating Trump’s national emergency, which would make it harder to secure America’s southern border.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who previously signaled he would vote to end the emergency, said he will back Trump’s emergency after Trump said he will work with Republicans on a president’s national emergency authority. Tillis is up for re-election in 2020.

Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Mike Braun (R-IN), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Pat Roberts (R-KS) voted in favor of the national emergency.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) voted against the national emergency.

Many Senate Republicans have stood by the president and have said Trump is right to take action to secure the southern border.

Sen. Graham said in a statement on Thursday, “I voted with President Trump and rejected Nancy Pelosi’s motion of disapproval regarding the emergency declaration to build a barrier on the southern border.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said ahead of the vote that she will vote to keep Trump’s national emergency, stating:

Since Congress gave emergency powers to the executive branch in 1976 under the National Emergencies Act, presidents from both political parties have declared national emergencies in the United States over situations far less dire than the security and humanitarian crisis that is currently plaguing the southern border. The president and Congress must take swift action to secure our border, protect our citizens, and defend our sovereignty. I support President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, and I reject the resolution of disapproval.

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) told Breitbart News recently that, despite some media reports, there remains a “five-alarm crisis” at the southern border.

“There’s a five-alarm crisis going on down there. It’s not just the human traffic; it’s the drug traffic,” Perdue said in a statement to Breitbart News. “This is not just about building the wall; it’s about closing the loopholes and getting border patrol agents the resources they need.”

The Georgia conservative traveled in February to the southern border with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and witnessed first-hand the border crisis. Perdue told Breitbart News that the border crisis was “staggering.” The two Republicans saw illegal crossing hotspots and received real-time briefings from border patrol agents.

Daines told Breitbart News that he backs Trump’s national emergency, contending that without a secure border, every state is a border state.

“Montana is a northern border state with a southern border problem. Our communities all over Montana are being torn apart by the flood of Mexican meth coming through the southern border,” Daines said. “We must protect our citizens and secure the border.”

Many Republican senators have said they oppose any form of executive overreach, which includes former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien amnesty.

However, one federal district judge ruled in August 2018 that DACA was illegal, whereas many lawyers have argued that Trump has the authority under the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to reappropriate money to build the wall.

The Senate vote announcement comes as a Morning Consult/Politico poll suggests that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters would more likely vote for a candidate if they backed Trump’s national emergency on the border.

In an interview with Breitbart News this week, President Trump said he found it “hard to believe” that any Republican would vote against his efforts to secure the border.

Author: Sean Moran

Source: Breitbart: Senate Passes Bill to End Trump’s National Emergency with Less than Veto-Proof Majority

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