The Senate bill that went to the House today includes substantial aid to recreational facilities such as hotels and golf courses (somewhat poorly disguised in the language of the bill).
The MNUCHIN plan for filing taxes in July rather than April is of great interest. Most middle class wage earners get refunds and most wealthier folks pay additional tax. It is a big negative to the population and to the economy to have a July filing date. It is a bonanza for the rich.
El Presidente Loco continues his outrageous thefts from taxpayers. Shame!
1. These are the 51 GOP senators who just voted against expanding paid sick leave to protect Americans
by Jake Johnson, AlterNet
March 19, 2020
Republican senators on Wednesday teamed up to kill an amendment introduced by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray that would have expanded paid sick leave to millions of U.S. workers left out of a bipartisan coronavirus relief package.
Every Republican present for the vote, 51 in total, voted against the amendment while every Senate Democrat voted in favor.
Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) were the only senators who did not vote on the amendment, which would have guaranteed two weeks of paid sick leave as well as 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave to all U.S. employees and independent contractors.
“[Fifty one] Republican senators just voted against an amendment… that would have expanded paid leave to millions of Americans left out of the package,” tweeted progressive advocacy group Indivisible. “Let that sink in.”
“If one of these Republicans (or two!) is your senator,” the group added, “call their office right now and tell them you saw their vote and you won’t forget that they voted against the Murray amendment to expand paid sick leave to millions of Americans: 1-855-980-2355.”
The Republicans who voted against Murray’s amendment are listed below:
2. They. Sold. Their. Stock.
They could have made a difference, but they made a profit.
by David Leonhardt
Opinion columnist, The New York Times
On Jan. 24, Richard Burr, a Republican senator from North Carolina, attended a private Senate briefing from senior government scientists about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican senator from Georgia, received the same briefing.
At the time, many Americans did not yet understand the danger that the virus posed. The same day as the briefing, President Trump – in one of his many attempts over the past two months to make the virus seem like a frivolous matter – tweeted, “It will all work out well.”
Given the disconnect between what they knew and the public’s understanding, Burr and Loeffler had an opportunity to sound the alarm. They could have broken ranks with other congressional Republicans and told the country to take the situation more seriously. They could have criticized Trump for not doing more. Such criticism, coming from Trump’s own party, would have received major attention. It would have had the potential to alter Trump administration policy and, by extension, the course the disease took.
But Burr and Loeffler did virtually nothing to protect the health and safety of their constituents or of Americans in other states. (Burr went so far as to co-write an article for FoxNews.com bragging about the country’s readiness.) Here’s what the two senators did instead: They sold large amounts of their personal stock holdings, cashing in before the market sharply declined, as the severity of the virus became apparent to everyone.
The Daily Beast broke the story of Loeffler’s trades, which added up to between $1.2 million and $3.1 million. She started selling the shares the same day as the briefing. She also bought “between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software” and whose share price has risen since the crisis began, The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay, William Bredderman and Sam Brodey write.
The Center for Responsive Politics and ProPublica broke the news of Burr’s trades, which amounted to between $600,000 and $1.8 million. Among the shares that he and his wife sold were those in three hotel companies, all of which have since seen their stock prices hammered, Karl Evers-Hillstrom wrote.
Loeffler was appointed to her senate seat last year by Georgia’s governor, and is running for election this November. Burr is currently in his third term and has said he would not run again.
Their sales are “an immense and outrageous abuse of the public trust,” writes Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey. “It’s an inexcusably terrible thing to have done,” she adds.