Beltway Insider: Trump/Stimulus Package, COVID-19 Totals, Americas Spike, China, RBG, Rep. John Lewis

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President Trump, who is trailing by double digit figures in most national polls, has made it known that he expects the Republican led Senate and the Democratic led House to include a major single stimulus payout to qualified Americans.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, which tracked polls of likely or registered voters for the period ending July 19, 2020, decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 40.5% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 55.5%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

Election 2020, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, which tracks the latest Presidential Poll averages have President Donald Trump steadily trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden by 8.8% percentage points. With 41.6% of the sample audience indicating they will be casting their vote for Trump, and 50.4% of the voters sampled indicate they will be casting their vote for Biden.

Trump Stimulus Package

The Coronavirus pandemic, which as was predicted lingered longer than expected and marched with diligence across the nation locking down states where a determined population demanded the expression of their rights, has caused lockdowns, closures, and repeated weekly unemployment claims.

As the senate and house began the year ruptured from the Trump impeachment hearings, the pandemic, like the Great Recession of 2009, unanimously brought the two houses together passing an unprecedented $3Trillon stimulus package.


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The initial stimulus package contained an additional $600.00 unemployment boost which allowed many to stay afloat. That safety net is set to expire at the end of this week, unless an extension is approved by both the House, the Senate and signed by the President.

With the Bureau of Labor Statistic scheduled to release July numbers, August 7, 2020, the Republican led senate may simply wait on any additional stimulus package or provide a month-long extension to determine the employment trend and subsequent tiered structure of the next long term package expected to hold unemployed Americans until January 2021.

"Congress is set to reconvene this week at a critical juncture following a two-week recess as the $600 weekly unemployment benefits under the CARES Act are set to expire at the end of the month. Policymakers will debate whether more emergency stimulus checks and extra unemployment payments are needed to keep jobless people afloat as workers and businesses continue to grapple with the economic fallout of the pandemic," reported USA Today.

With Republicans defending 23 seats in 2020, and Senate House Majority leader Mitch McConnell facing a democratic endorsed opponent, the possibility of no additional stimulus package is not likely, and all players in the president's inner circle have indicated the president is looking for his team to develop a "major" one time stimulus payment, likely in the $2500.00 region per adult person and $1200.00 for each dependent child and based on income capping at a level which will end up being debated.

Remove Disincentive, Increase Federal Minimum Wage

Republican leaders and members of the President team are split on continuing the economic unemployment stimulus boost at its current levels citing the boost acts as a disincentive to return to the workforce.

The answer to this is simple, and not an argument or debate on incentive or disincentive. The argument remains wages and the answer is increase the federal minimum wage which has not increased in over a decade.

The Federal Minimum Wage, which has not increased since former President Barack Obama, signed The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) legislation on his first day of his first term, January 21, 2009.


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"The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. FLSA Minimum Wage: The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009," the U.S. Department of Labor states.

The disincentive could be circumvented simply by raising the federal wage to $15.00 an hour. Currently six states have a $15.00 an hour minimum wage and many others have passed variations of a 21st Century Labor contract,discussed by former Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O'Rouke.

The top cities with highest minimum wage include most cities in California who have set the state's minimum wage of 13.00 Seattle ($15.45), San Francisco ($15.59) New York City ($15.00) Los Angeles ($15.00), Washington, D.C., ($15.00), Chicago, ($13.00).

"The 21 states enacting minimum wage hikes are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington. The information was compiled by govdocs.com, a website that curates government documents on employment law for companies worldwide," Patch reports.

Coronavirus Totals

The infection rates of the coronavirus have continued to rise around the world. For the week ending July 19, 2020, coronavirus cases increased globally, 1,574,300 confirmed cases, brings the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 14,342,200, with 602,849 deaths, an increase of 37,199.

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending July 19, 2020 the total confirmed cases rose to 3,763,600 with new confirmed cases rising sharply totaling 468,772. The coronavirus has claimed 140,262 total deaths, a weekly increase for 5,455 deaths. (Data from The New York Times).

Corona Virus Spike Across Americas

South America has replaced the United States with the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths surging. Brazil has reported more than 2,074,860 cases with a continued weekly increase of nearly 250,000 new cases each week.

Countries nearest South America's largest country are also experiencing sharp spikes in confirmed cases. Lower population levels and less dense conditions are sparing the explosion of cases currently.

Cities within these nations, with dense living conditions, multiple family households, and little space separating dwellings, will, unless extreme and immediate measure are taken, also see a dramatic increase in cases and subsequently deaths.

United States continues to see a rise in cases. California, the largest state in the nation has according to Governor Gavin Newsom, who used the analogy of a dimmer switch to indicate the state is neither fully open or "on" nor fully closed or "off" is experiencing a rapid surge in confirmed cases.

The recent rise in cases across many of California's counties forced the governor to once again order the closing of activities where crowds gather, including gyms, bars, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment, zoos, museums, and must suspend indoor activities.

The possibility of returning to mandated stay at home orders, which were in effect beginning March 15, 2020, have also been discussed.

Coronavirus Holiday Cancellations

The annual New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade is the latest iconic California event to fall victim to the pandemic: For the first time in 75 years, it's been canceled. As viewers across the world tune in to see the Parade of Flower floats and the streets lined with spectators many don't see the festivities leading up to the big day. The economic loss for the region is staggering.


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New York City and Federated Department Stores have yet to announce if the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade will be cancelled. The dedicated and effective action taken by Governor Andrew Cuomo has resulted in successfully countering the virus and flattening the curve. More importantly, the statistics exhibit real improvement.

"In New York City, which had the bulk of the state's cases, office workers have been allowed to return, though businesses must still limit their capacity and many are still choosing to keep their workers remote. Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to urge caution, particularly as other states experienced new spikes, "You don't stay smart, it will come back." As of Sunday afternoon, 32,187 people had died," The New York Times reported.

China

President Trump remained on the offensive this week as he spoke on current measure lobbied against China.

"Today, I also signed an executive order ending U.S. preferential treatment for Hong Kong.  Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China: no special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies. In addition to that, as you know, we're placing massive tariffs and have placed very large tariffs on China — first time that's ever happened to China.  Billions of dollars have been paid to the United States, of which I've given quite a bit to the farmers and ranchers for our country because they were targeted," President Trump said in a press conference.

He also clarified his position on holding the Chinese government responsible for the pandemic, "And make no mistake: We hold China fully responsible for concealing the virus and unleashing it upon the world.  They could've stopped it.  They should've stopped it.  It would've been very easy to do at the source when it happened," President Trump said in remarks made during a press conference.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, was admitted to a hospital this week "for treatment of a possible infection," the court said in a statement. The Justice has been released and is resting comfortably at home.

Representative John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, Dies at 80

Georgia Representative John Lewis, one of the last remaining civil rights icons who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., passed away this week from pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Lewis, the son of Alabama Sharecroppers, who has been praised from both sides of the aisle for his undying commitment to civil rights and the equality of the races, recreated the iconic walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge five years ago, marking the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, named for a series of three marches in March 1965, each met with depraved violence from Alabama State Troopers on the orders of the Governor George Wallace.


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The struggle for Civil Rights became Lewis' life's calling, as he rose to prominence as the Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an original freedom Rider, during the height of the Civil Rights struggle in the 1960s. He continued to fight for equality, the right to vote, and other basic rights for African American citizens. He was elected to the House of representative in 1987 and remained a force as a congressman until his death.

During the March on Washington, where Lewis at 23 delivered the Keynote he said, "We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now! We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again." He would be followed by Martin Luther King Jr who would deliver his famous, "I have a Dream" speech.

Praised by presidents, colleagues, celebrities and remembered by the common man, constituents in his districts, who lived through the turbulent change, never really achieving equality and now without a guiding voice are facing turbulent changes again.

"The Republican governor of Georgia said that the country will "never be the same" without Representative John Lewis, who died Friday at age 80. The Democratic speaker of the house called Mr. Lewis "a titan of the civil rights movement." The House minority leader said that Mr. Lewis "never stopped working to improve the lives of others," reported The New York Times.

Eulogized by former President Barack Obama, who said, "He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise. And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example."

Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden said via twitter, " I know of no man with more courage than John Lewis. He was a giant walking among us. When I saw him, I couldn't help but think one thing: "I haven't done enough." May his life and legacy inspire every one of us to strive for justice, equality and what is right.

President Trump kept his comments to a minimum, issuing a public statement, "Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family." The President also issued a proclamation that all flags he flown at half-staff as a show of respect and to honor the memory and longstanding public service of Representative John Lewis.

Vice-President Mike Pence said "Congressman John Lewis was a great man whose courage and decades of public service changed America forever, and he will be deeply missed. John Lewis will be remembered as a giant of the civil rights movement whose selflessness and conviction rendered our nation into a more perfect union and his example will inspire generations of Americans.

Former President Jimmy Carter said, "Rosalynn and I are saddened by the death of Congressman John Lewis. He made an indelible mark on history through his quest to make our nation more just. John never shied away from what he called "good trouble" to lead our nation on the path toward human and civil rights. Everything he did, he did in a spirit of love. All Americans, regardless of race or religion, owe John Lewis a debt of gratitude. We send our condolences and prayers to his family and friends.

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "We have lost a giant. John Lewis gave all he had to redeem America's unmet promise of equality and justice for all, and to create a place for us to build a more perfect union together. Steered by a moral compass that told him when to make good trouble and when to heal troubled waters. Hillary and I loved John. We were blessed by his friendship, support, and wise counsel."

For more information on President Donald Trump www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection

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