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Americans angry with inaction from Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump on extending $600 a week unemployment benefits are accusing the government of not living up to its responsibility to care for the public during the Covid-19 pandemic as the boost in aid expired Friday.

“In the middle of this pandemic they’re playing with us,” said Candida Kevorkian, a 53-year-old California woman relying on the payments to survive, told the Washington Post Saturday.

The benefits are credited with keeping the economy from a complete collapse due to the ongoing nationwide Covid-19 outbreak and staving off a wave of evictions many advocates fear is coming now that the weekly infusion is gone. But the initial program, passed in the CARES Act in late March, only ran until the end of July.

House Democrats approved the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion stimulus package which included an extension of the unemployment benefit boost, in late May, but GOP lawmakers in the Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), took no action on the bill, instead presenting a competing bill known as the HEALS Act last month that cut the payment to $200 a week. That legislation was dead on arrival, however, not even generating necessary support within the caucus due to the level of spending.

The White House and the GOP Senate leadership floated a one-week extension for the benefits, but that fix—such as it is—was rejected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) Thursday evening.

“We recognize the gravity of the situation,” Pelosi told reporters Friday. “They don’t.”

Sounds like some progress on negotiations today. Here’s what Mnuchin told reporters is in the mix, specifics unclear:

— Fix on UI
— Eviction moratorium
— PPP $
— Schools/childcare $
— Cites McConnell demand on liability

Unemployment $ and eviction moratorium already expired

— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) August 1, 2020

Negotiations are, reportedly, ongoing—but the Republican-led Senate nonetheless adjourned for the weekend on Thursday.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told MSNBC Friday night the choice to leave town was “inexplicable” and urged his GOP colleagues to negotiate a workable solution to the ongoing crisis with House Democrats.

“I hear senators making $175,000 a year complaining that these ‘lazy workers are getting so much money,'” said Brown. “People haven’t sunk into poverty in significant numbers at all during this pandemic because of the $600 a week.”

The fix is simple, 38-year-old New Haven, Connecticut resident Raven Holmes told the Post.

“Money is not a resource that can be depleted. It’s a man-made thing,” said Holmes. “If you need more make more.”

“There are other countries—their citizens are fine, nobody is suffering, and everybody is healthy,” she added. “All our government wants is money in their pockets, while the people are poor and starving and scrounging.”

News Source: alternet.org

Tags: religious right

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Kodak falls 40% on the New York Stock Exchange after the suspension of the agreement to produce drugs

New York, Aug 10 (EFE) .- The photographic products company Eastman Kodak fell 40% on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday after the US government suspended an agreement to produce generic drug ingredients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, among allegations of insider trading.

The US International Financial Development Corporation indicated this weekend that these “allegations of misconduct create serious concerns” in the federal government, which will not “proceed until clarified” with the $ 765 million loan for produce pharmaceutical ingredients, which aimed to stop depending on the outside to manufacture them.

On July 28, US President Donald Trump cited the Defense Production Act to announce the millionaire loan to Kodak, which declared bankruptcy in 2012 when the switch to digital cameras devastated its business. This generated confusion among analysts and a great movement in the market, where it shot up 600% in two days.

The firm came under scrutiny from lawmakers, who expressed fear over the “lack of pharmaceutical expertise” of Kodak, a producer of chemicals used in photography, and the allocation of stock options to its top management just before the deal was announced. with the Government, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Securities Market Commission (SEC) is investigating the disclosure of the agreement by Kodak and that transfer of options, since the day before the announcement of the Government their titles rose 25%, with a trading volume six times greater than the usual, which generated suspicions of “insider trading” (insider trading).

After Trump’s announcement on July 28, Kodak shares, which had been trading below $ 2 until then, soared and reached $ 60 in two days, rising 600%, which led to suspend its negotiation a score of times, indicated the economic medium CNBC.

The papers stabilized during the following days and, after closing last Friday at less than 15 dollars, this Monday they fell more than 40% after the opening of Wall Street, in reaction to the suspension of the agreement to produce drugs.

Nearly two hours after the start of today’s session, Kodak had recovered some value but was down more than 30%, standing at $ 10.23 per share.

(c) EFE Agency

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